03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

'Jesse's Kosher Ham' -- The Easiest Holiday Dinner I Know

Come the holidays, and the butcher shops in my zip code are filled with birds.

Turkey? It's the other white meat now --- it's ordinary. When I press my nose against the window, I'm ogling pheasant and goose. Here, clearly, the recession is over.

Still, we're casting our dinner vote for a main course that's $1.99 a pound.

My brother-in-law calls this "Jesse's kosher ham". Funny, but not accurate --- the recipe comes from the late Gene Hovis, a dazzling cook and exceptional human who made it all the way from a small town in North Carolina to the Best Dressed List.

This ham is not only toothsome to the max, it's also a snap to prepare; it really is the ideal Lazy Cook's holiday solution. (You might use the energy you save to make Potatoes Dauphinoise; I prefer the Julia Child recipe.) Leftovers? In scrambled eggs, in sandwiches and on daring refrigerator raids --- they'll disappear fast.


serves 10-12

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

16-18 pound ready-to-eat ham, pre-cooked, with bone in
1-pound box dark brown sugar
l/2 cup Goulden's mustard
l/2 cup bourbon
l/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
l cup honey
2 tablespoons ground cloves

Mix ingredients. Pour over ham.
Cook in oven for 2-3 hours.
Baste constantly after first half hour.

Cross-posted from