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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

Slow Cooker Christmas Ham
Slow Cooker Christmas Ham
To be fair, this ham can be made any time of the year, but I think it fits the holidays perfectly with the red, tart lingonberry jam and the scent of allspice and cloves. The best part is that the ham itself cooks up nice and tender in the slow cooker, all by itself, freeing you up to do other things with that much coveted resource—time!

A jar of lingonberries, some honey, and a little bit of warming spice are mixed to make a beautiful and festive glaze. One thing that you might notice missing is whole cloves. While I adore clove-scented ham as much as the next person, I don't adore having to pluck picking them (and usually missing a few) of the cooked ham.

I solve that issue by using ground cloves. Same warm, woody, peppery undertones without the possibility of biting into a hard little stick.
Slow Cooker Christmas Ham
I use a smoked picnic shoulder in this recipe, which is salty enough that you won't need to add any salt to the recipe. If you find a smoked shoulder too salty (from past experience), you can get rid of some of the salt by covering the ham in cold water and refrigerating it, changing the water a couple of times, for 12 hours, before using it. But unless you're really watching your salt intake, I don't think that's necessary. You could also use a different bone-in ham, but steer away from boneless or spiral cut in this recipe.

If you're looking for side dishes to serve alongside this Christmas (or anytime) Ham, try these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, these Creamed Pearl Onions, and this Red Cabbage and Golden Raisin Salad.

yield: serves 6-8print recipe
Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 4 hour and 25 MINStotal time: 4 hours and 40 mins
This tender smoked picnic ham from the slow cooker, glazed with lingonberry sauce and finished in the oven is an easy holiday recipe.


  • 2 small onions, peeled and halved
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • big pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 (6-7 pound) smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider
For the glaze:
  • 1/4 cup lingonberry jam (often labeled as wild natural lingonberries - but you can tell it's jam by looking)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Place the onion halves in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, cut side down. Scatter peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, and ground cloves around them. Using them as a stand, set the pork shoulder on top of the onions, skin side facing up. Pour the apple cider and water over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours (until ham registers at least 160° F in center.
  2. When ham is done, preheat oven to 425° F.
  3. Thoroughly line a 9"x13" baking dish with heavy duty foil (or a couple of layers of regular foil). Carefully lift the ham out of the slow cooker and set carefully into the pan.
  4. Use a sharp knife and some tongs to remove the skin and all but a thin layer of fat. Use a knife to score the fat (diamonds, squares, lines - whatever you like).
  5. Stir all of the glaze ingredients together until well combined, then spread the glaze over the scored fat and slide into preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove ham from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  1. Save the bone for making ham stock or soup. If you like, you can use the ham cooking liquid in soup if you don't mind a bit of sweetness (from the apple cider) and spice.
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