My Gramma and I bond through cooking. When I travel, I always bring her crazy spices, which she never uses, but I impress her by making stuff with of them when I come home to visit. Since I ditched her for Nassau last Christmas, I treated her (and the family) to a Bahamian spiced roast and an islandy mango-peach-apricot-orange ham this year. ^_^

Bahamian Roast
I left my slow cooker at home, so I did this on the stove, but you can go either way.

  1. Wash and pat dry a decent size beef roast.? I live by Dangold Inc. spice blends so sprinkle both sides with the equivalent of a bit of Garlic/Onion and a bit of Garlic Bread mix. Douse generously with Salt N’ Pepper Big Sour (a mix from a shop called Beth’s Kitchen, Nassau Bahamas. I have no idea what’s in it, and I’m going to cry when I run out.)
  2. Add about 2 cups of Mojo Criollo and marinade for a few hours or overnight. If you’re slow cooking it doesn’t need to be too long. Remember to flip your meat in the middle so the marinade is evenly absorbed.
  3. Slice 1 large onion and saute in a large pan until tender with a hint of brown. Make a bed in the bottom of your slow cooker with 1/2 your slices. Set the other half aside.
  4. Mix about 3-4 tbsp olive oil, more Big Sour mix, and 1 tbsp sugar to make a sugary spice oil paste. Slather the entire roast in it. Brown on all sides in the same pan you did the onions in until you get nice brown carmelization all around. you’re not trying to cook the meat through, just get it pretty on the outside. It should look like it’s ready to eat on the edges but still be raw in the middle.
  5. Move your roast to your slow cooker and top/surround with the rest of the sauteed onions. Add the leftover marinade and enough beef broth to just cover the meat.
  6. Cook according to your slow cooker’s directions… mine takes 4-6 hours, just check every so often after the first 3. You’ll know its ready when it’s just tender enough that trying to lift it out with a knife makes it fall apart.

Obviously if you don’t have the same mix of spices that I do, try your own. That’s what makes it fun! The Dangold mixes are mostly garlic and onion powders and a bit each of parsley, oregano, turmeric, cumin, sage, pepper, bell pepper and carrot. I can’t begin to tell you what’s in the Big Sour, but there’s some bay leaves, parsley, allspice, and it’s a little citrusy… so I think there’s dried “Big Sour”/Uglifruit in there? I don’t even know. Have fun with it! It never comes out the same way twice anyway.

Island Ham

I don’t want to give out the secret of this recipe because it’s so good, but it’s not really that big of a secret…

  1. Bake a precooked spiral ham as usual, 15 mins. per pound at 350, but add a cup and a half of Coke or Cherry Coke to the bottom of your pan surrounding the ham and tent well with aluminum foil. Baste every 30 min. with pan drippings.
  2. In the last 20, 30 minutes, mix brown sugar and assorted fruit jams in a 2:1 ratio. Bring to boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken. I used mango preserves, apricot jelly, peach syrup/juice, a dash of orange juice to cut the sweetness and a heaping teaspoon of ground mustard. As it cools it should get thick and syrupy.
  3. Once the ham has been heated through, crank the oven to 450 and slather the whole ham in your fruit syrup. Let it broil just long enough to get a good crackly, syrupy carmelization on the outside. No more than 10 minutes.

Voila! You should have a tender, sweet and delicious ham! Again, make your fruit blend to your liking. I just used what I had around… I dropped my jar of peach-pineapple glaze so I didn’t have that, I had mango preserves the Bahamas that I wanted to use, I was out of canned pineapples, I had a tiny jar of apricot preserves I stole from breakfast in Paris, my grandma was making peach cobbler and had leftover juice… you could just as easily use rasp/straw/blue/blackberry or grape jellies. I haven’t experimented with other flavor sodas, but I’ve heard Dr. Pepper is interesting.