Debbie Matenopoulos goes back to her Virginia roots with a delicious Virginia ham recipe.


  • 1 (6- to 8-pound) smoked ham
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Whole cloves
  • Unsweetened slices fresh or canned pineapple rings
  • Maraschino Cherries
  • 1 cup slightly sweet white wine
  • 1 cup ginger ale or 7 Up

Virginia Holiday Ham - Home & Family


1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. or if pressed for time, 300 degrees F.
Remove the rind from the ham and most of the fat, leaving an even layer about 1/8-inch thick. Place the ham in a roasting pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil (this will eliminate a nasty clean-up later).

2) Score the fat on the ham (making a diamond pattern). Hams are usually decorated in the traditional manner of scoring (making diagonal slashes in the fat with a sharp knife to form diamond shapes, studding with whole cloves, and glazing).

3) In a small bowl, combine prepared mustard, brown sugar, and honey. Rub the ham all over with the mustard-honey sauce, pressing sauce into the cut marks. Stick a whole clove in the center of each diamond. Using toothpicks, secure slices of pineapple to the ham. Then in the center of each pineapple ring, secure maraschino cherries with toothpicks.

4) Bake the ham, fat side up, covered in foil from 2 to 4 hours (depending on the size and weight of your ham) or until internal temperature reads 140 degrees F. on a meat thermometer. Glaze and baste every 30 minutes with equal parts wine and ginger ale, or ginger ale only. Later in the cooking, baste with pan juices.

5) When done, remove from oven and transfer to a carving board. Let the ham stand for 30 minutes before carving.

6) When slicing, cut away the rind and any excess fat. Then cut into slices, as thin as possible.

7) Add accumulated carving juices to the remaining sauce and serve separately. Arrange the meat on a warmed serving platter.

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