Entertaining guests is a labor of love. Much effort goes into preparing a home for the arrival of friends and family, and that includes planning a menu that will accommodate as many people as possible.
Hosts and hostesses who are looking to take some of the work off of their plates can explore recipes that are less labor-intensive. Slow cookers are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. While busy families often use them to prepare weeknight meals, slow cookers also can be used when cooking for crowds. In such instances, they free up time for party hosts to tackle other jobs.
This recipe for “Sweet Southern Slow-Cooker Ham,” courtesy of the National Pork Board and Yummly, utilizes a fully cooked, store-bought ham and some sweet and savory accoutrements. The ham can be served on its own, or be used to create delicious sliders. Since it serves 12, it’s the perfect meal for a crowd.
- 1 bone-in fully cooked ham (about 51⁄2 pounds)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1⁄3 cup bourbon (preferably Kentucky)
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 1⁄4 cup Dijon style mustard
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Place the ham in a large slow cooker. Whisk the cider with the brown sugar, bourbon, honey, and mustard. Slowly pour over the ham. Scatter the thyme sprigs into the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until very tender. Remove ham to rest on a cutting board. Pass the remaining cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Cut the ham into chunks or slices. Brush the cut pieces with the cooking liquid before arranging on a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.