Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 small onions, peeled and halved
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • big pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 (6-7 pound) smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup lingonberry jam (often labeled as wild natural lingonberries – but you can tell it’s jam by looking)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the onion halves in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, cut side down. Scatter peppercorns, star anise, bay leaves, and ground cloves around them. Using them as a stand, set the pork shoulder on top of the onions, skin side facing up. Pour the apple cider and water over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours (until ham registers at least 160° F in center.
  2. When ham is done, preheat oven to 425° F.
  3. Thoroughly line a 9″x13″ baking dish with heavy duty foil (or a couple of layers of regular foil). Carefully lift the ham out of the slow cooker and set carefully into the pan.
  4. Use a sharp knife and some tongs to remove the skin and all but a thin layer of fat. Use a knife to score the fat (diamonds, squares, lines – whatever you like).
  5. Stir all of the glaze ingredients together until well combined, then spread the glaze over the scored fat and slide into preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove ham from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Recipe of the Week: Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 2 1/2 pounds Just BARE Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Whole wheat pita pockets
  • For serving: thinly sliced red onion, fresh parsley, diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, hummus

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the allspice, oregano, salt, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne. Set aside.
  2. Place the yogurt and lemon juice in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Add half of the spice mixture (reserve the second half) and stir to combine. Add the chicken thighs and gently turn to coat in the yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Coat the bottom of a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the chicken and all of the yogurt marinade. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  4. With a fork or slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a large bowl (discard the cooking liquid). Shred the chicken with two forks, then sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the top. Stir to coat with the reserved spices.
  5. Serve the chicken shawarma inside warmed pita bread, sprinkled with any desired toppings.