What? You don't wax poetic about ham?
Well, that's a little weird.
I've come to the conclusion that ham may be the best value for your money when it comes to feeding a small horde of hungry folks.
I can usually find ham around the major holidays for $0.99/# which makes it totally in my budget.
By cooking a 10 pound or larger ham, I can have enough meat not only for dinner on the night I bake it, but I can also stretch out the leftovers for ham salad, ham sandwiches, quiche, and omelets. And I'm still left with a nice big ham bone for soup beans. And when you're done with the bone for soup beans, give it to the dog. Everybody wins!
When choosing a ham at the store, don't pay extra for spiral cut. You just want a nice half ham with the bone. And if it comes with a glaze, throw it out. No one wants that unnatural tasting mess.
Here's my basic ham recipe:
Around 10# ham
2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325.
Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and cloves in sauce pan over low heat just until mixed together.
Score ham. Place ham in an oven cooking bag in a foil lined 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over top of ham and seal bag. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning bag and ham 3 to 4 times during cooking. At the end of the cook time, remove the bag and broil for 3-5 minutes to caramelize the glaze - watch closely so it doesn't burn! Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
By rotating the cooking bag, you don't have to baste your ham and by broiling at the end, you'll have that nice coating like the fancy baked ham stores, but for a fraction of the price. And lining your pan in foil makes clean up a breeze.
Now head on out and grab ya a ham!