I know I mentioned a week or so ago that several of my children had inherited the Dr Pepper gene. The one that seemed to get it the strongest is my eldest, Erin.Not only is she addicted to Dr Pepper in a big way she is a big fan of anything remotely Dr Pepper-fied, including a small Texas town called Dublin.
(Update. The Dr Pepper Co. closed Dublin down and lost a lot of loyal fans. Stupid big business. Anyway, you can still get Dr Pepper made with sugar but you’ll have to look for it.)
Dublin has the oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant in the world but more than that it is the only bottling plant that refused to cave to pressure in the 1970s and begin using corn syrup. It still uses pure cane sugar as the sweetener and because of that Dublin Dr Pepper just tastes… amazing.
While I have been on my Dr Pepper kick lately I have had a few requests to develop a good Dr Pepper glaze for ham. After all, it is only a few weeks until Easter and there aren’t any more traditional flavors, at least around here, than Dr Pepper and ham. Maybe a good banana pudding…
So I did work on it. Every recipe I researched seemed to have either catsup or mustard in it and I did not want those flavors to edge out the main flavor of the Dr Pepper, or else what was the point? I wanted a glaze that you knew had Dr Pepper in it… not one that only seemed cool because it carried the name and a subtle flavor.
It took awhile I’ll admit, but I prevailed. In the end, like so many recipes I had to start from scratch. The end result was worth it I think, and I hope you do to. This Dr Pepper glaze for ham is amazing with chicken, fish, pork, and just about any other grilled meat so don’t just have it once a year.
So this recipe is dedicated to all of you Peppers out there. Remember, 10-2-4.
- 12 oz Dr Pepper
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup (scant) good balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 1 tbs sriracha, may omit or use less if desired
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- Mix Dr Pepper, onion, garlic, spices (except sriracha) and sugar in a heavy sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil and then allow to reduce by ½, stirring often.
- Add the balsamic and sriracha and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens and gets syrupy.
- Taste and adjust flavor.
- Either strain or use as is.
- Brush on meat before and during grilling, roasting, or baking.
- Watch it carefully, because of the high sugar content this will burn easily.
image: marye audet