The Daley Question

Hamming up the holiday with Dr Pepper

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Holiday ham

Holiday ham -- it's even better with a good glaze. One reader seeks recipes using Dr Pepper. (Bill Hogan / Chicago Tribune)

"We make our own glaze," Jerry Sikora the now-retired butcher of Gepperth's Meat Market told the Chicago Tribune in story published April 8, 2009. "It's pretty much just brown sugar and soda -- some people like Coca-Cola, and some people like Dr Pepper. You just warm it on the stove and pour it over and you've got a nice glaze." This recipe is adapted from one used by the market's owners, Otto and Dianna Demke.

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup each: red wine vinegar, cola or Dr Pepper

1 teaspoon brown mustard

Dash ground cloves

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice, optional

1.Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until mustard has dissolved; heat to a boil. Use to baste a ham during final 30 minutes of baking.

The Pioneer Woman's glazed ham

Prep: 20 minutes. Cook: 3 hours. Makes: 18 servings

This recipe is found on the website of Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman. She describes herself as a "moderately agoraphobic ranch wife and mother of four" but most people know her by her web presence, her cookbooks, and her Food Network show, "The Pioneer Woman."

1 whole Fully Cooked Bone-in Ham (15-18 Pounds)

Whole Cloves

3 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup spicy brown mustard

1 can Dr Pepper or Coke

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1.Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake in a 325-degree oven for 2 to 2/12 hours---or longer, depending on the package directions. (Some hams may require 3 to 3 1/2 hours at a lower temp; just check the package.)

2.Heat the brown sugar, mustard, soda and vinegar in a small saucepan until bubbly. Cook until reduced and a bit thicker, about 15 minutes.

3.After about 2 hours of baking time, remove the foil and brush the glaze on the ham in 20 minutes intervals (put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, in between) until it's nice and glossy. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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