Spiral-Sliced Ham With Cherry-Port Glaze 40.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dec 16, 2019

Inspired by recipes from America's Test Kitchen and countless honey-glazed hams of yesteryear, our glaze marries ruby port, scented with fragrant star anise, with honey and cherry preserves. It's a perfect complement to the salty ham, and the star anise keeps the glaze from getting cloying.


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Tested size: 40 servings

  • One (14-pound) spiral-sliced ham
  • 2/3 cup ruby port
  • 1 to 2 whole star anise
  • 3/4 cup mild honey
  • 2/3 cup cherry preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Unwrap the ham and discard the plastic disc covering the bone. Place the ham in a plastic oven bag, pull tightly for a close fit, tie the bag closed and trim the excess plastic. Set the ham cut-side down in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and make 4 slits in the top of the bag with a paring knife. Alternatively, place the unwrapped ham cut-side down in the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees with the rack in the lower third. Bake the ham until the center registers about 100 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 1/2 hours (about 14 minutes per pound if using a plastic bag and about 17 minutes per pound if using foil), depending on the size of ham.

While the ham is warming, prepare the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the port and star anise to a simmer and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Add the honey, preserves, pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick, syrupy and reduced to about 1 1/4 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the ham hits 100 degrees, carefully remove from the oven and cut open the oven bag. Spoon the glaze on the ham and brush it all over. Return to the oven for 15 minutes, then repeat the glazing process. Keep the ham in the oven until it reaches 115 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest in the baking dish for a few minutes. Serve with the remaining glaze.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The New Best Recipe" by Cook's Illustrated (America's Test Kitchen, 2004).

Tested by Olga Massov.

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