Other than wild game, smoked ham is the most common meat used as
a centerpiece on the holiday table in South Louisiana. Often "secret"
glazes or stuffings are used by the bayou families to create that
special masterpiece. Here is a favorite recipe from my own family.
It is normally seen on our table at Easter time.
- 1 (6-7 pound) boneless ham
- 2 whole yams
- 2 whole Bartlett pears
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup fig preserves
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of filé (optional)
- salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 6 Bartlett pears, halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Poach yams and pears in hot water
until tender but not overcooked. Drain and chop into 1-inch cubes.
Set aside. In a heavy-bottom sauté pan melt butter over medium-high
heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté
until vegetables are wilted, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add yams,
pears, raisins and fig preserves and continue to sauté until
mixture is well blended and resembles a chutney or stuffing. Season
with a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and filé. Remove and allow
to cool. Slice ham horizontally across the middle and fill the center
of ham with stuffing mixture about 3/4-inch. Top with upper section
of ham and secure in place with skewers. Garnish top of ham with
pear halves and glaze ham with Cajun glaze. Bake 20-30 minutes.
- 1 cup cane syrup
- 1 cup Creole mustard
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground filé or sassafras leaves
In a stainless steel mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Blend
well and brush over ham prior to baking.