The holidays are upon us and that means we’ll be indulging in overly gluttonous meals until January 1 when our New Year’s resolutions kick in. This year has been a wild ride, so you deserve to treat yourself to a few special meals in these last few weeks of 2020. Step away from the skinless, boneless chicken breast and ground turkey and instead reach for something festive: Holiday ham.
From the animal that brought you bacon, a large bone-in ham is one of those meats that you only have during the holidays and we don’t really understand why. This particular cut of pork is juicy, flavorful, and perfect on its own or on a holiday sandwich. If mom’s ham was a little dry last year, we’ve done a rundown of the best holiday hams that you can casually suggest for this year’s feast.
Fermin Acorn-Fed Iberico Shoulder Ham
This is the Lamborghini of hams, and you can tell by the price tag. Fermin’s Iberico ham (or jamon as it is known) from the Sierra de Francia region of Spain, is among the best and most uniquely flavored hams you’ll find in the world. The company’s Iberico pigs are exclusive to Spain and get treated better than wagyu beef. They live a happy, free-range life dining on acorns in oak-covered meadows, giving the meat its buttery/nutty flavor. Once they are selected for the jamon, they go through a meticulous curing and aging process that has been perfected for over 60 years. When it’s all said and done, the Fermin ham-master puts each piece through a rigorous testing process to see if it meets the standards.
Benton’s Country Ham
If you’ve been through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, there’s a chance you’ve heard of Benton’s smokehouse. Famous for its hams and bacon for over 70 years, people travel a long way just to pick up some of the brand’s country cured meats. Fortunately for the rest of us, you can also get it online. Don’t forget to freeze that ham bone to make some top-notch black-eyed peas on New Years Day (it’s a Southern tradition if you weren’t aware).
Tender Belly Spiral Cut Uncured Holiday Ham
Southerners aren’t the only ones that know how to make a good ham. Tender Belly, out of Denver, is known for its love and devotion to pork. In fact, its slogan is; “If loving pork is crazy, we don’t want to be sane.” You’d be crazy not to try their uncured holiday ham from heritage-breed pigs. They use 100% natural pork without any antibiotics, nitrates or nitrites, gluten, or MSG. Bottom line — zero fake stuff. This is so moist, it’s almost better re-heated. The good news is, once you try it and become hooked, you can get a ham subscription on the website. Individual hams are sold out this close to the holidays (which shows you just how good these are), but not all hope is lost. You can still get a bundle with two packages of uncured bacon, which you will absolutely want after trying this ham.
Snake River Farms Kurobuta Whole Bone-in Ham
Just one look at the picture-perfect coloring and marbling on its Kurobuta Ham and you’ll understand why Snake River Farms products are used in Michelin-star kitchens all over the globe. Made from heritage-breed Berkshire pigs, Snake River Farms’ ham is known for flavor so naturally delectable that it hardly even needs a pinch of salt. For the Easter holiday, pick up the Kurobuta Ham Starter Kit, which includes a bone-in, 8-plus-pound ham, a Snake River Farms apron, and a step-by-step guide for cooking a whole bone-in ham, which ranges from 14 pounds up to around 20 pounds.
The Honey Baked Ham Company Bone-In Half
Honey glazed ham has become a phrase synonymous with the holidays. If you live in the U.S., you might think that all hams are honey glazed. This is not the case, obviously, but thanks to Honey Baked Ham’s delicious hams and excellent marketing they have become a household name. The fully cooked, spiral-sliced hams are roasted over hardwood chips for over 20 hours before being topped off with the irresistible crispy, syrupy glaze that helped them become a household name. The half-ham is available in 6- to 10-pound sizes that can serve up to 22 people, so everyone can indulge no matter the size of your holiday gathering.
D’Artagnan Berkshire Pork Bone-In Smoked Ham
If you’re looking to inject some Applewood-smoked deliciousness into your holiday feast, long-time gourmet meat specialist D’Artagnan has you covered. The Berkshire hogs used for the company’s beautiful hams are raised humanely and sustainably, with no antibiotics or hormones, so the meat you get is as clean as it is delicious. Before it reaches your holiday table, this ham gets smoked over real Applewood and topped off with the perfect elevating hit of salt and brown sugar. The result is a tender, hearty main course with just enough sweet smokiness to bring out the meat’s natural succulent flavor.
Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham
If you’re watching your sodium intake this holiday season, Logan Farms Honey Glazed Ham is the way to go. The company has the best low-sodium hams on the market. The low-salt curing recipe, plus a delicious crispy glaze makes this ham perfect for any holiday occasion. You can order directly online from one of their multiple locations, so pick the one closest to you to get the lowest shipping costs. If you have a smaller gathering, the brand also offers half-hams.
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