a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This bourbon is too smooth to waste in the oven


This post started out to be about a recipe for ham glaze containing apricot preserves and bourbon. However, my stop at a liquor store detours this story to Labrot & Graham and its Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select bourbon.

The brand stands out on the shelf over its competitors that include Jim Beam and Old Crow. Woodford’s thin, round-shouldered bottles are classy and manly, a reminder of a classic black-and-white movie scene with Humphrey Bogart pouring goblets of bourbon to share with a beautiful dame behind a piano. This isn’t the cheap stuff, either. Brewed near Versailles, KY, since 1812, Woodford is the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. Simply speaking, Woodford defines top shelf.

So back here in shot-and-beer territory south of Pittsburgh, Pa., it’s a miracle that my bottle lasted long enough to make it this week into Thanksgiving dinner.

That glaze recipe yanked from a page in the latest issue of GQ magazine calls for four tablespoons of the above-mentioned preserves and a cup of bourbon or rum warmed together over a stove and set aside while the ham cooks for about an hour. A sober cook should then apply this mixture to the ham before returning it to the oven until it reaches the right temperature.

This recipe will fail you. Instead, spoon an entire small jar of preserves into a sauce pan with about a half-cup or less of bourbon to ensure a thick dressing to dribble over the ham to counteract with all that salt it holds. A full cup of whiskey will just result in a runny glaze.

Aside from that, it would be a shame to send too much smooth Woodford to the drippings in a roasting plan. Save the rest for a day when your personal Ingrid Bergman stops by to lounge around and watch “Casablanca" one more time for good measure.

4 comments:

Alison said...

I must concur. Woodford is meant for sipping, not cooking. If you can get your hands on some, try some Ancient Ancient Age. Good for mixing, and I presume, cooking.

Ellipses said...

I received a bourbon gift basket last year from relatives in KY. Included was a bottle of Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace. Of the three, I actually preferred the Buffalo...

Scott Beveridge said...

It must be nice to be you with relatives like that...

Ellipses said...

Yeah... if only I had legs...