If you’re looking for a holiday ham recipe that requires little preparation and minimal attention, our slow-cooker spiral ham, inspired by Basil and Bubbly, is the fabulously fuss-free recipe for you!
Featuring a tongue-tantalizing glaze made with bourbon, hot pepper jelly, Dijon mustard and brown sugar, this fall-apart-by-the-slice ham is mouthwateringly moist and deliciously rich with flavor. The hot pepper jelly and Dijon mustard deliver a tongue-tingling hint of heat that is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the brown sugar and the complex flavor profile of bourbon.
What does bourbon bring to this recipe? Taste! This barrel-aged distilled whiskey, whose name comes from an area known as Old Bourbon in Kentucky, is made from corn, kept in charred oak containers, and contains no additives. Depending on the brand, bourbon delivers varying intensities of vanilla, caramel, honey, coffee, fruit, herb and spice flavors — all flavors that complement the meaty, salty, sweet flavors of ham. In addition to delectably lending its distinct taste to savory meats, bourbon can be used in desserts to make them extra special. Take the time to sip a few different types of bourbon to find your favorite, then put this deliciously unparalleled liquor to use in your kitchen.
Cook’s note: When it comes to spiral ham, we recommend buying from a small, local producer rather than the mass-produced hams. Opt for a naturally smoked ham rather than hams with smoke flavor added. Avoid the hams that have water added. Hams labeled “ham” taste better and have a meatier — not spongy — texture compared to hams labeled “ham — water added” or “ham and water product.”
Ham tastes great all by itself, but a bourbon sauce made with pepper jelly, mustard and brown sugar makes this ham over-the-top delicious. In a small bowl, whisk together bourbon, pepper jelly, mustard and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. This sweet and spicy sauce transforms into a succulent glaze as the ham cooks.
Prep the slow cooker
Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on the bottom of the slow cooker
Cook the ham
Place the spiral ham inside the slow cooker and cover with the bourbon sauce. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6 hours.