Back in 2009, when we spent Christmas with my sister and brother in law in Massachusetts, one of the specialty foods we got to try was spiral ham. It was so good! For those of you that are thinking “this girl is strange, spiral ham is such a simple thing”, I have to explain a bit of my country’s food habits.
We don’t eat ham like this. We eat ham in small, thin slices, and put them in a sandwich. Obviously we do a lot of different things with it, but I had never seen anything like this in Portugal. And I loved how it tasted.
Since we got back that year, I’ve been trying to buy a spiral ham. For those of you that don’t realize how different that is from European food, it is virtually impossible to get one here. I looked everywhere. When the american products store opened in Portugal, I thought I could buy one there. But no, “we don’t sell perishable products”. Okay then.
A few days ago I went to the supermarket and I found out they are now selling what they call “bifinhos afiambrados” – which can be loosely translated to “ham-y steaks”. Needless to say, I came home with some. =)
I asked my sister for a recipe for the glaze, looked online for recipes and, with what I remembered from the flavor, came up with a brown sugar glaze. All you’ll need is honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. I’m not sure about the quantities, as it was really the amount I thought would be enough, but start with about three tablespoons of honey, one tablespoon of brown sugar, and add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to taste.
I seasoned the “steaks” with salt and black pepper and drizzled the glaze on top of it. Put it in the oven for around 50 minutes and I have to say, you’ll love the smell of your house right about this moment!
I recommend that you do this to serve immediately, as it can dry a bit. I’ll do this some more times, I’m sure, so I’ll keep you posted if I find a better way of doing it.
But, for now, I’m so happy that I can mimic spiral ham! This is a big deal and I have no problems admitting that! eheh I’m a proud geek! =)
(pic below: looking good right?)