(Family Features) This year, make your Easter ham effortless by ditching the oven and using your slow cooker instead. While most people think about slow cooking for staples like chili and stew, it’s also perfect for center-of-the-plate feasts — like an Easter ham.
Using the slow cooker, you can minimize both prep time and cleanup time, leaving plenty of room in the day for church, hunting eggs and enjoying time with your loved ones.
Ham is a tradition for many families this time of year, and because it pairs well with a multitude of ingredients, you can create a unique dish every time.
For a fresh spin on the classic ham, try this Sweet Southern Slow-Cooker Ham recipe from the National Pork Board. Apple cider and bourbon (or vanilla extract, if you prefer) combine to create a rich flavor complemented by the sweetness of brown sugar.
Round out your Easter menu by pairing your ham with classic sides such as oven-roasted carrots, asparagus wrapped in bacon and mashed sweet potatoes.
You can also use leftover ham for flavor-packed recipes like Ham, Apple and Cheddar Crepes, which are ideal for a family-style brunch.
Easter Ham Pin-spiration Sweepstakes
Enter the National Pork Board’s Easter Ham Pin-spiration Sweepstakes at PorkBeinspired.com/EasterHam for the chance to win an Easter gift basket with everything you need for this year’s celebration.
- 1 bone-in fully cooked ham, about 5 1/2 pounds
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Place ham in large slow cooker. Whisk cider with brown sugar, bourbon, honey and mustard. Slowly pour over ham. Scatter thyme sprigs into slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until very tender. Remove ham to rest on cutting board. Pass remaining cooking liquid through fine mesh sieve into saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Carve ham into serving pieces. Brush ham pieces with cooking liquid before arranging on platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
4 to 8 hours
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For a non-alcoholic alternative, replace the bourbon with 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
- 3 cups ham, shredded and warmed
- 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Granny Smith apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Pour milk, butter, eggs and salt in blender. Mix until well combined. Add flour. Mix for 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Heat an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat well with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan, swirl to fully cover bottom of pan. Cook for 1 minute or until crepe begins to curl around edges. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until set. Transfer to plate. Repeat with additional cooking spray and remaining batter. Layer cooked crepes between pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking.
- Lay a crepe on clean work surface. Arrange few slices of apple on quarter of crepe; top with shredded ham. Fold crepe in half to cover filling and fold in half again to create triangular shape. Repeat with remaining crepes, apple and ham. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and hold in warm oven until ready to serve, or up to 30 minutes.
- For cheese sauce, melt butter in saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in flour until well coated. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until pale and smooth. Whisk in milk, a splash at a time, until smooth; stir in mustard, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Remove from heat. Whisk in cheese, a small handful at a time, until melted and smooth.
- Place filled crepes on each plate. Spoon cheese sauce over each crepe and sprinkle with chives.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
All the elements of the recipe can be prepared a day in advance and gently warmed before assembling.
SOURCE: National Pork Board
(Family Features) Explore new flavors and cuisines and take a tasty trip around the world with pork - all from the comfort of your own home. Pork's versatility and savory taste make it the perfect pairing with global ingredients and dishes, giving you a passport to delicious mealtimes you will want to share with family and friends.
Need some inspiration? Create a Pork Bucket List and fill it with ideas for global-tasting meals with pork. Try:
Making your own marinade using a new ingredient from a far-off place, like chiles.
Visiting a new ethnic restaurant that serves dishes like dim sum or Korean barbecue and then find recipes at PorkBeinspired.com to replicate your favorites at home.
Discovering pork dishes from all seven continents, starting with Asia and these Thai Ribeye Pork Chops.
For Thai Ribeye Pork Chops, mix up a slightly tangy Asian-inspired marinade before grilling. And remember, for juicy, tender results that you, your family and friends will love, grill your pork chops to an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest.
Serve these chops on top of a bed of noodles for a Thai pork noodle bowl, or alongside an herb salad of fresh basil, mint, scallions and cilantro for a meal packed with a world of flavor.
Keep your grilling and cooking fresh and exciting with more global recipes. Visit www.PorkBeinspired.com and www.Pinterest.com/PorkBeinspired for recipes, ideas, tips and more.
Thai Ribeye Pork Chops
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 boneless ribeye pork chops, about 3/4- to 1-inch thick
- Whisk together soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar, vegetable oil and lime juice in bowl.
- In large baking dish, arrange ribeye pork chops in even layer. Pour marinade over pork chops, reserving about 1/4 cup of marinade in refrigerator for later use.
- Marinate pork chops for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Remove pork chops from marinade, discarding excess marinade. Place pork chops on hot grill for 4 minutes on each side, flipping once until internal temperature of pork measures between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium) on meat thermometer.
- Transfer grilled pork chops to cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing against grain.
- Pour reserved marinade over sliced pork before serving.
SOURCE: National Pork Board