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  • The base number of servings for this recipe is 8
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    Wilo Benet’s Ham with Pineapple Sauce (Jamón con Piña)

    "This recipe is inspired by my Grandmother Evelyn’s traditional baked jamón con piña," Benet says. "Yes, it is usually done in the oven, and a huge baking ham is used, stubbed with cloves and dressed with thinly sliced pineapple rounds. I chose to give a stovetop alternative to the original since the possibilities for a richer sauce are enhanced in a pot and, hey, it’s always fun to play around with different techniques."

     

     

    Wilo Benet is chef and owner of Pikayo in Puerto Rico.


    Ingredients
    2
    tablespoons
    olive oil (not extra-virgin)
    1
    canned baking ham, about 3 pounds
    1
    teaspoon
    cloves
    2
    ounces
    unsalted butter
    1
    onion, cut into large dice
    3
    cloves
    garlic, cut into thin slivers
    2
    cups
    fortified white cooking wine “El Cocinero” (or substitute dry Spanish sherry)
    1/2
    cup
    white vinegar
    6
    cups
    pineapple juice (preferably Lotus brand)
    1
    pound
    packed brown sugar
    1
    cup
    Maraschino cherries, stems removed
    3
    sticks
    cinnamon
    3
    bay leaves
    3
    tablespoons
    cornstarch
    3
    pounds
    peeled pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
    Directions
    In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil until it starts to smoke. Carefully add ham, and sear for about 2 minutes on each side until browned.
    Remove ham from pot. Stub surface of ham with about a dozen cloves, scattered throughout, and set aside.
    Add butter to pot, and allow it to melt. Add onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes until onions start to brown, stirring ingredients and turning ham occasionally so it doesn’t scorch.
    Deglaze with wine and vinegar, and cook until they start to evaporate, about 6 minutes.
    Pour in pineapple juice, and add brown sugar. Add cherries, cinnamon, bay leaves, and stir well.
    Place 1 teaspoon of cloves on a piece of cheesecloth. Tie ends of cheesecloth to form a pouch, and add to sauce.
    In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water, and mix to make a slurry.
    Pour slurry into saucepan, and mix well. Bring mixture to a full boil, and cook for about 8 minutes.
    Return ham to pot. Add sliced pineapple, and bring to a full boil.
    Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 35 minutes. Remove lid, and simmer for an additional 25 minutes, basting the ham from time to time until sauce thickens.
    Remove ham from sauce. Remove and discard cloves, and slice. Remove and discard clove pouch and bay leaves from sauce.
    Serve the ham drizzled with pineapple sauce and with slices of pineapple and cherries on the side.
    Reprinted With Permission From Reprinted with permission from Puerto Rico True Flavors © 2010 by Wilo Benet, Read Street Publishing

    The base number of servings for this recipe is 8
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