On Christmas eve it’s very important for every Filipino household to prepare a special noche buena or midnight feast for the whole family and the friends who gather and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Special dishes will always be prepared and served following the Filipino tradition in Philippines. Filipinos follow this tradition even if they are in other parts of the world. One special dish which is loved by everyone is the traditional Filipino ham or “hamon”. Serving ham as the center dish surely makes the Christmas Dinner truly grand and special. This meat dish is sweet, juicy, and very tender. It can go along with anything like rice, bread, pasta, or can be eaten alone and served in thin slices.
5 lbs. fully cooked bone in ham
8 cups pineapple juice
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 whole fresh pineapple, peeled and cored, into quarters; cut crosswise into slices
(or 1 can pineapple slices, drained)
1 tbsp. Butter
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a roasting pan with rack or baking tray.
2. In a stockpot, place ham, pineapple juice and 1 cup brown sugar. Make sure ham is submerged in the juice. Add more juice (or water) to cover, if necessary.
3. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. The skin should come off easily when ham is done. Drain and set aside to cool.
4. If ham has skin, peel off. Trim fat layer to 1/4 in. thickness. Diagonally score fat to form diamond pattern.
5. Prepare Glaze: In a small saucepan, place the remaining 1 cupbrown sugar and water. Bring to boil over medium heat; stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes or until syrupy. Brush about half of the glaze over ham.
6. Prepare Caramelized Pineapple: In a skillet brown pineapple in about 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat, turning occasionally, until caramelized. Set aside.
7. Roast ham, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until browned. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
8. To serve, garnish the ham with cherries and fresh pineapple, apples, peaches or any fruit you want and serve with warm Caramelized Pineapple.