Molasses-Glazed Ham with Bacon Red-Eye Gravy



  • 8 pounds fully cooked bone-in ham
  • 3 tablespoons molasses (divided*)
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat (from cooking bacon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon shallot (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee (not dark roast, at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (reduced-sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried, finely chopped)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Line the bottom of a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Score a diamond pattern into the ham, about 1/3 inch deep. Place the ham, flat side down, in the pan. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F., on a meat thermometer, 15 to 18 minutes per pound. During the last 30 minutes of baking time, brush the ham with 1/3 cup of the molasses. Remove ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest 10 minutes.
  4. For Bacon Red-Eye Gravy: in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Measure and reserve 1/4 cup bacon fat, and discard remaining fat. Coarsely chop bacon and set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat bacon fat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and let bubble without browning for 1 minute. Gradually stir in coffee and broth, followed by remaining 3 tablespoons molasses and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced slightly to the consistency of heavy cream, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. (The sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave oven before serving.) Just before serving, stir in bacon. Makes about 3 cups sauce.
  6. Carve ham and serve with sauce.
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