Bourbon & Coke Ham


Emeril Lagasse’s “Fresh Baked Ham With Bourbon and Coke Marinade.”
(slightly modified by Bob, of course)

Bourbon & Coke Ham!


Chef Emeril Lagasse has risen to phenomenal heights as a chef. He is arguably the most well known celebrity chef in the world today. Emeril had his first culinary encounter as a boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts. He worked at a Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. He earned his Doctorate degree through the culinary program at Johnson and Wales University. Emeril then traveled to Paris and Lyon where he polished his skills and learned the art of classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Emeril practiced his art in several fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia before heading south to the Big Easy. Lured to New Orleans by Dick and Ella Brennan, Emeril established his star at their legendary restaurant, Commander’s Palace, where he was executive chef for 7 1/2 years.

Ok, so this is another recipe that takes a lot of time in the kitchen…that’s what holiday meals are all about!



Fresh Baked Ham With Bourbon and Coke Marinade Ingredients


Yield: Makes about 20 servings

• One 20-pound fresh ham (shank and leg portion)
• 1/4 cup Emeril’s Original Essence (recipe below)
• 1/3 cup kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Whole cloves
• 7 cups Coca-Cola or other cola soft drink
• 2 cups bourbon whiskey
• 1 pound light brown sugar



Emeril’s Original Essence (makes approx. 1 cup)


• 5 tablespoons sweet paprika
• 1/4 cup salt
• 1/4 cup garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons onion powder
• 2 tablespoons cayenne
• 2 tablespoons dried oregano
• 2 tablespoons dried thyme

1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend well.
2. Store in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.



Fresh Baked Ham With Bourbon and Coke Marinade Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. With a sharp knife, puncture and score the skin of the ham, making parallel 1/2-inch-deep incisions.
Turn the ham and score again to make a grid-like pattern.

3. In a small bowl, combine the Essence, kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and mix well.
Rub this spice blend evenly over the entire ham. Place the ham fatty side up on a work surface. Insert 1
clove where the lines intersect on the ham. Place the ham fatty side down in a large, heavy roasting pan
(measuring about 19 by 14 inches).



Fresh Baked Ham With Bourbon and Coke Marinade Baking

1. Pour two cups of Coca-Cola into the bottom of the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour.

2. Remove from the oven and pour 1 cup of cola over the ham. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from the oven and baste with 1 cup of cola. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and baste with 1 cup of cola. Bake for another 1 hour.

5. Remove the ham from the oven and carefully turn fatty side up.

6. Return the ham to the oven and bake for 1 hour.

7. While the ham is baking, in a medium saucepan, combine the bourbon and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over
medium heat. Cook until reduced by one-third in volume to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and
set aside.

8. Remove the ham from the oven and baste with 1 cup of cola. Return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

9. Remove the ham from the oven and baste with the remaining 1 cup of cola. Return to the oven and bake
for 30 minutes. (The ham now will have cooked for 5 hours.)

10. Bake the ham for an additional 30 minutes, remove from the oven and using a pastry brush, baste the top
and sides with the bourbon and sugar glaze. Return to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, for a total cooking
time of 6 to 6 1/2 hours, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees to 165 degrees F.

12. Remove the ham from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before carving.

13. Now you can sit back and relax a bit and watch the smiles as your guests enjoy!