Ham with Ham Gravy

Some of you might be thinking, what in the heck is ham gravy!?

Once you know, it will change your holiday feasts. Whether you are looking for Easter dinner ideas, a formal Christmas spread for a special family dinner, a spiral ham with ham gravy will be a memorable meal.

Most of the recipes we create are new recipes, brainchilds we create when tinkering in the kitchen together and drawing inspiration from our global travels.

This recipe, however, is an oldie but goodie. It is one of the oldest recipes from Karen’s family tradition cookbook.

This ham gravy recipe’s origin comes from Karen’s grandmother and it might be a French Canadian recipe.

So, what gravy goes with ham and mashed potatoes? A sweet one!

This recipe is really more of a sweet pan sauce, using the sweet ham drippings from the roasted meat. 

It is nothing similar to a thick meat gravy that you might be used to from Turkey dinner or with traditional Southern biscuits and gravy.

Once you’ve tasted gravy for ham dinner, you will NOT be able to have ham any other way! It’s the perfect sauce for ham, mashed potatoes, and it’s stellar on leftover ham sandwiches too!  

Here is our recipe on how to cook a ham with ham gravy.

How to Thaw a Ham

Thawing a ham takes some time, make sure you plan the appropriate thaw time prior to your ham dinner.

Without the ham there is no ham gravy!

The safest way to go about thawing frozen ham is by placing it in the refrigerator.

Do not thaw your ham at room temperature.

How Long to Thaw a Ham?

When thawing a ham, you should account for 5-6 hours per pound.

Ham thawing times:

  • Thawing time for a 5 pound ham – 1 full day, 24 hours
  • Thawing time for a 10 pound ham – 2 days
  • Thawing time for a 15 pound ham – 3 days

It’s best to thaw your ham well ahead of time. Once the meat is thawed, it is safe to stay in the fridge for another 3-4 days.

Overall, we recommend placing your frozen ham in the refrigerator 3-4 days prior to your planned ham dinner feast.

Can you Cook a Frozen Ham?

We recommend thawing frozen ham prior to cooking, however, we know that mistakes happen, time flies, and everyone gets busy.

If you need to cook a ham that is still frozen, you are able to cook it in the oven. Just plan on spending up to 50% longer to cook the ham. Always base the cook time based on the meat’s internal temperature. 

How to Cook a Ham?

Start with a quality piece of meat! 

This past Christmas we ordered an Omaha Steaks Spiral Sliced Ham, which was already pre-smoked, it was delicious and we will definitely use Omaha Steaks’ ham for this upcoming Easter Sunday. 

While the ham from Omaha Steak is pre-glazed and coated with a sweet exterior, we still prepared an additional ham glaze.

The ham glaze is essential as part of the ham gravy recipe as it helps to flavor the pan drippings.

We place the glazed ham in a cooking bag and rest it fat side facing up in a roasting pan.

Cook the ham at 350 degrees F.

Ham Glaze Recipe

Our family recipe for ham glaze is super simple.

It’s sweet with a touch of acidity for additional depth:

  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of yellow mustard
  • Enough water to make a syrup

How long to Cook a Ham?

It takes roughly 15 minutes per pound to cook a ham, but you should base the ham’s doneness by the internal temperature. 

The thickest part of the ham should reach a minimum temperature of 130 degrees F.

We recently purchased a wireless thermometer that has been a major secret to our success when smoking meat. 

Simply put the oven-safe probe into the meat and the wireless thermometer will alert you when your food has reached the targeted internal temperature. Easy Peasy!

How to Make Ham Gravy

This simple ham gravy only uses a few critical ingredients: the pan drippings from the ham glaze, starchy potato water, and a cornstarch slurry.

You need to make ham gravy with cornstarch in order to thicken up the juices and pan drippings. The potato water helps to add more volume to the ham gravy.

Once the ham is fully cooked, remove the meat and place on a serving platter to rest.

Add in 2 scoops of warm potato water to your roasting pan and place it on a stovetop burner on medium heat. 

If you didn’t make potatoes (shame!) you can use warm water, but the starchiness of the potato water does improve the ham gravy.

Next, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a splash of water to make a slurry. 

Use a whisk to combine the cornstarch slurry into the pan. Whisk while the sauce gently simmers until it starts to thicken. Feel free to add more cornstarch slurry as needed.

In about 10 minutes, you will have delicious ham gravy that is ready to be transitioned to a gravy boat on your dinner table.

Save that ham hock to make broth the next day! The broth can be used in leftover ham recipes.

Ham Gravy Recipe

  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of yellow mustard
  • Enough water to make a syrup for the ham glaze
  • Large ham
  • 2 cups of potato water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, yellow mustard, and enough water to make a syrup.
  3. Place the ham fat side facing up in a plastic roasting bag.
  4. Spoon the glaze over the top of the ham, secure the bag, and roast the ham until it reaches at least 130 degrees.
  5. Remove the ham from the bag, pour the ham drippings into the roasting pan and remove the bag.
  6. Place the roasting pan with pan drippings on a stovetop and set to medium heat.
  7. Add 2 cups of potato water to the roasting pan.
  8. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a slurry and whisk it into the roasting pan.
  9. Cook at a simmer, whisking continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Adding more cornstarch slurry as needed.
  10. If needed, season with additional salt and pepper, remove from heat, transfer to a gravy boat and enjoy your ham gravy!
Ham with Ham Gravy Recipe

Ham with Ham Gravy Recipe

Yield: 8 - 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ham is not complete without ham gravy! This sweet pan sauce is also perfect on your mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of yellow mustard
  • Splash of water
  • Large ham
  • 2 cups of potato water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, yellow mustard, and enough water to make a syrup.
  3. Place the ham fat side facing up in a plastic roasting bag.
  4. Spoon the glaze over the top of the ham, secure the bag, and roast the ham until it reaches at least 130 degrees.
  5. Remove the ham from the bag, pour the ham drippings into the roasting pan and remove the bag.
  6. Place the roasting pan with pan drippings on a stovetop and set to medium heat.
  7. Add 2 cups of potato water to the roasting pan.
  8. Mix together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a slurry and whisk it into the roasting pan.
  9. Cook at a simmer, whisking continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Adding more cornstarch slurry as needed.
  10. If needed, season with additional salt and pepper, remove from heat, transfer to a gravy boat and enjoy your ham gravy

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