Chef John's Mini Christmas Hams

Chef John's Mini Christmas Hams

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Chef John 23765

"These cute, individually sized hams are firm, moist, and perfectly salty. Serve them over the holidays or for your next dinner party."
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2 d 50 m servings 790 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



  • Calories:
  • 790 kcal
  • 40%
  • Fat:
  • 21.8 g
  • 34%
  • Carbs:
  • 61.9g
  • 20%
  • Protein:
  • 82.7 g
  • 165%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 213 mg
  • 71%
  • Sodium:
  • 13234 mg
  • 529%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, cloves, and bay leaf together in a large container; stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Place celery, onion, and garlic in a blender. Add 2 cups cold water and puree until smooth. Pour celery mixture into kosher salt mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 quart of water, or more as needed, to make a total of 2 quarts of brine. Place pork chops in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl and set glaze aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  5. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry; discard used brine. Cut shallow slits along the sides of each pork chop, about 1/4 inch deep. Cut a crisscross pattern in the top of each pork chop, creating small 1-inch triangles.
  6. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over high heat. Cook chops in the hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Brush the crisscrossed top of each pork chop with about 1 tablespoon of glaze. Insert 3 whole cloves in the top of each pork chop.
  7. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and roast pork chops until golden brown and slightly pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Remove pork chops to a plate and discard cloves.
  8. Using a small butane hand torch, brown the tops of the pork chops by making short passes over the tops with the flame not quite touching.


  • Editor's Note:
  • If using fine table salt, you'll need barely 1/3 cup.
  • Always brine foods in a food-grade, non reactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket.
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.


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These turned out very well. Not the same boring ham one would traditionally have. I did add the 2 tsp of liquid smoke as the video showed. This made the taste much better. One more thing to ...

Very good. Don't know what the fuss is about 'salty'. Mine turned out fine. Everyone loved them, even the kids.

Very tasty! Just had them for dinner, and they're so cute too......although it was good, I'm not too fond of mustard glaze, so I think I'll make something sweet next time to offset the salt in ...

The ham's were moist and tender and we liked the flavors of the spices. But, it was way too salty. I did rotate the hams the first night and cooked them the second day. I don't know if reducing ...

All I could taste was salt.

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