Shredded Sweet Ham is so tender and juicy that it will fall off the bone before you can even take it out of the pot! It’s made using a simple boil and bake method. The ham is boiled in a vinegar and brown sugar solution, then it’s baked in a brown sugar and mustard rub! It’s to die for and just might be my favorite ham!
This easy recipe will quickly not only start showing up at every Christmas and Easter dinner, but it probably make its way into your everyday meal rotation! Plus, there are a million ways to use the leftovers!
Quite a few years ago one of my friends shared this shredded ham recipe with me and I’ve used this boiled ham and baked ham method ever since!
Magic happens when the ham is boiled in vinegar, water, and brown sugar. The process makes the ham incredibly tender. And, it takes on the best flavor! Don’t worry, it’s not vinegary at all. My kids are NOT vinegar fans, like won’t eat salt and vinegar chips, and they love this ham!
Baking ham in brown sugar and dry mustard rub makes the most delicious sweet ham…EVER! I can’t wait for you to try it!
Besides making an easy yet fancy meal, leftover shredded ham gives you a nice headstart on lots of other meals like Potato and Ham Soup, Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole, Ham Sliders, on pizza, in Farmer’s Omelets, or in other casseroles.
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
OMG! Sweet ham is just so good! Everyone always raves about this ham when I serve it! It’s super fun to serve shredded ham instead of sliced ham.
- Easy! This is a no-fuss recipe! There is some cooking time involved, but not too much hands-on time.
- Make-ahead! I love doing the boiling ham part of this recipe ahead of time, then all that’s left is to bake the shredded ham before serving. It’s such a time saver and makes holidays less stressful.
- The leftovers! Yep! The leftover ham is one of my favorite parts of this recipe! You can’t beat shredded ham sandwiches!
Sweet Ham Ingredients:
I love that other than the ham, you will probably have these ingredients in your pantry! You can also freeze ham for a couple of months. Let’s talk about some of the options you have!
- Ham: My kids raise pigs so I don’t buy ham from the grocery store very often because I use what’s already in my freezer. A shank end is cut from the bottom half of the hog’s hind leg and looks like what you typically think of when you think of ham. A butt end is cut from the upper half of the hog’s hind leg and will have a few more bones than a shank end. Either type of ham will work well for this recipe. I prefer bone-in hams because they are more flavorful. Don’t buy a spiral-sliced ham for this recipe. It will overcook and the texture will be more like jerky.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The kind you buy in a gallon jug works great and is less expensive than buying a tiny bottle.
- Dry Mustard: This is found in the seasonings aisle of the grocery store. It’s not the same thing as yellow prepared mustard you put on your hotdogs.
How to Make Shredded Ham:
Step 1: Add brown sugar, vinegar, and water to a large pot. Whisk together until the brown sugar is dissolved. A stockpot works great for bigger hams.
Step 2: Add the whole, unsliced ham to the pot. Put the flat side down. Your ham will probably look a bit different than mine because I special ordered mine from the butcher. Don’t worry about trimming the fat from the ham. It will be easy to remove after it’s cooked and you’re ready to shred it.
Step 3: With the lid on the pot, bring the ham to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat as low as you can while maintaining a simmer. Continue simmering for 2-3 hours. The meat should easily fall off the bone when it’s done cooking. I like to leave the lid on as much as possible.
Step 4: Mix brown sugar and dry mustard together. This is how we get that amazing sweet ham plus a scrumptious sauce!
Step 5: Sprinkle brown sugar/mustard mixture over the ham. Cover with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.
Step 6: Pull ham with two forks. It will be super easy to do because it’s going to be incredibly tender and practically falling apart on its own! Remove bones and any fat pieces. Gently stir to coat with that amazing brown sugar sauce you see on the bottom of the pan!
Here’s how to make shredded ham ahead of time. It’s a lifesaver!
- Boil the ham. See step 1 above.
- Shred the ham.
- Add the pulled ham to a baking dish.
- Sprinkle brown sugar/mustard mix over ham.
- Refrigerate until an hour before serving time.
- Bake ham. See step 6 above.
Most hams are already smoked before you buy them and really only need to be warmed through. The ham in this recipe gets cooked for quite a while, which is why it falls off the bone!
For a bone-in ham plan on 1/2 a pound per person. For a boneless ham (which I don’t recommend for this recipe) plan on 1/3 a pound per person. The boys I live with are big eaters and carnivores, so I always buy a little extra. Plus, I love the leftover ham!
Yes! It will start to fall off the bone when it’s been cooked to about 135 degrees. You’ll know it’s ready when the meat starts to peel away from the bone.
What to Serve with Sweet Ham:
Shredded ham seems more rustic than a spiral sliced ham. I like serving it with BBQ style sides and salads. Or, you can dress it up and serve it with fancy potatoes and a nice green salad.
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re planning a menu to go with this sweet ham, is that it’s sweet! It’s best to pair sweet meat with no so sweet sides. Think about adding contrasting flavors by using savory sides.
I’ve also served shredded ham for breakfast or brunch before. It’s delicious with quiche, any kind of eggs, or even along side pancakes.
Shredded Sweet Ham (Boiled and Baked)
- 5-7 pound bone-in ham
- 2 cups brown sugar divided
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dry mustard
- Add 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of vinegar, and 3 cups of water to a large pot. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. NOTE: You'll want a pretty big pot because or liquid will splatter as the ham simmers.
- Set the ham flat side down in the pot. Put the lid on the pot.
- Bring the ham to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat as much as you can while keeping the ham at a gentle simmer. Cook for 2 1/2-3 hours. You'll know it's done when the meat is starting to fall off the bone and can easily be pulled into chunks. Leave the lid on as much as possible during the simmering time.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13" baking dish.
- Carefully remove the ham from the pot (it's going to want to fall apart). Place the ham in a baking dish and start to pull it apart a little bit.
- Mix remaining brown sugar and dry mustard together. Sprinkle over the ham. Cover with foil and bake for one hour.
- Shred ham removing and discarding fat pieces and bones.
- Gently toss to coat ham in the amazing brown sugar sauce. Serve warm.
- Boil ham
- Shred ham
- Put ham in a baking dish
- Sprinkle brown sugar/mustard over the ham.
- Cover the ham with foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.