Holiday Paleo Ham
Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Nitrate-Free, Nitrite-Free, Minimal Ingredients, Easy
Bring the family together with this holiday Paleo ham. It is unbelievably flavorful, tender, and aromatic and perfect for any holiday or event.
This is a featured recipe from my book ‘The Big Book of Paleo Cooking.’ With Easter just around the corner, I thought if I was going to feature any recipe it would be one that you’ve been looking for. 😉
With Easter comes many traditions, but it seems like the most common tradition is making an ‘Easter’ ham. Growing up, I never had to ask what we were eating on Easter, I always knew. It was always the usual; deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, green beans (usually canned), and a ‘purple’ spiral ham.
While this Paleo ham isn’t one my mom made or my grandma, it is one I started to make as our family Easter tradition.
I didn’t realize the importance of traditions until I had kids of my own. Even though the Easter ham tradition was passed down to me, I found a way to transform the traditional tradition with simple Paleo swap outs. My hope is that my boys will pass on this new tradition of purchasing a farm-fresh Easter ham with a homemade glaze to their kids.
Even this small modification in a family tradition can make the most significant impact on our children’s (and grandchildren’s) future.
Instead of buying the purple spiral ham this year, opt for an uncured bone-in ham from a local farm or butcher. Purchasing your pork this way ensures it is not preserved with nitrates and other chemicals and is free from unnecessary additives like refined sugars.
You’ll want to read this blog post in its entirety for more helpful tips and tricks you’d typically by-pass. Or, if you are feeling lucky, jump to the recipe below and get started!
Either way, I’d love to hear how your holiday ham turned out, so please leave a comment and share it with your friends and family.
How to Make a Holiday Paleo Ham
To Make the Glaze
1. In a medium saucepan, combine orange slices and juice, coconut oil, water, raw honey, cinnamon sticks, and ground cloves over medium heat.
Tip: If using a smaller ham, cut the glaze measurements in half.
2. Bring to a soft boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and allow the glaze to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
To Make the Ham
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Place the ham into a roasting pan, fatty side up and score the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond-like or crisscross pattern.
3. In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, sage, sea salt, and black pepper and pour over the ham.
4. Cook the prepared ham in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
5. After 2 hours, pour glaze over the ham and cook for an additional 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes until the ham is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tip: When planning to feed a large gathering, my general rule is to buy 1 pound per adult and 1/2 per child. Generally, one serving of ham should be between 6 and 8 ounces or less – but it’s always good to be prepared for extra guests and leftovers.
This recipe calls for an 8-pound ham, this may be too big or too small depending on the size of your family or if you are meal prepping. Below you will find the cooking times for your fresh uncooked ham according to the USDA. Also, investing in a meat thermometer is a great idea when it comes to cooking your holiday ham.
Whole Leg Bone-In Ham: 12 to 16 pound bone-in ham needs 22 to 26 minutes per pound.
Whole Leg Boneless Ham: 10 to 14 pound boneless ham needs 24 to 28 minutes per pound.
Half Leg Bone-in Ham: 5 to 8 pound bone-in ham needs 35 to 40 minutes.
How to Source Quality Ham
Last year I was on the search for local grass-fed and pasture-raised livestock when I came across Lakeview Acres. Not only was I excited about this news, but their farm is also only 5 miles away! Lakeview Acres’s passion is raising healthy and happy animals – and their animals are truly happy! You can visit their farm and see for yourself and taste it in all their meats – and that’s hard to find.
If you are unable to find a local farm that specializes in grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, there are plenty of other options. Try searching for co-ops, farmer’s markets, and health food stores in your area, and you’ll likely find quality meats. When looking for your special ham, make sure it’s free of nitrates, nitrites, refined sugar, synthetic sugars, corn syrup, and anything you are not able to pronounce.
How to Store your Holiday Paleo Ham
Ham can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Save ham longer by storing in an airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Essential Equipment for Making a Holiday Paleo Ham
Roasting Pan – A roasting pan with a roasting rack is necessary for making this aromatic and flavorful dish!
More Holiday Paleo Dishes
Whipped Dairy-Free Sweet Potatoes – A deliciously creamy and perfectly sweetened, sweet potato dish.
Roasted Asparagus – A simple side dish that pairs well with any protein!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Beets with Bacon – Nothing brings vegetables together than bacon. Enjoy the sweet and earthy tones of the vegetables throughout covered with bacon bits.
Basic Staples for Making a Holiday Paleo Ham
Ham – It’s best to source quality local ham from a farm or butcher that is minimally processed and sugar-free.
Coconut Oil – I purchase coconut oil at Costco (we use a lot), but use whatever kind you have on hand!
Sage – If fresh sage is hard to source, trying sourcing a rubbed sage from Simply Organic.
Sea Salt – Everyone has their opinion on the best sea salt, so use whatever’s in your kitchen.
Black Pepper – I prefer freshly ground black pepper, but use whatever’s in your kitchen!
Raw Honey – Local is always best when available, otherwise, my favorite brand is Beekeepers Naturals.
Ground Cloves – I love using ground spices; they tend to be more flavorful and aromatic.
Oranges/Orange Juice – Always opt for local or organic produce when available. If using conventional oranges, I highly recommend washing since most of these oranges have a wax coating.
Holiday Paleo Ham
For the Glaze
To Make the Glaze
- In a medium saucepan, combine orange slices and juice, coconut oil, water, raw honey, cinnamon sticks, and ground cloves over medium heat.
- Bring to a soft boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and allow glaze to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
To Make the Ham
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Place the ham into a roasting pan, fatty side up and score the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond-like or crisscross pattern.
- In a small bowl combine melted coconut oil, sage, sea salt, and black pepper and pour over the ham.
- Cook the prepared ham in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, pour glaze over the ham and cook for an additional 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes until the ham is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutritional facts aren’t always factual – please use these as a reference only. Speak to a nutritionist about your recommended daily values and for more accurate information.