So I never grew up with a huge ham for Easter dinner. As many of you already know, around The Ol’ Shannon Homestead we look forward to Passover every spring but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate many of Easter’s fine qualities like Sweet & Sara’s Vegan Easter Peepers & Skippers and big dinner or brunch parties. Since we became a “we”, Dan and I have hosted some pretty outstanding secular Seders for Passover. I can tell you from experience that the best ones took awhile to plan. Which brings us to the other day when I realized we weren’t gong to be able to host a huge Seder this year because we just don’t have the room and I haven’t had the time to rent a space. Last year we had to settle for a big dinner at a Thai restaurant because we were moving. So what’s a grrl like me to do with literally years worth of pent up Seder planning? Well, she starts to explore Easter dinner.
She starts to look at the springtime vegetable dishes and desserts and wonder why she never really thought of Easter food as being more than candy, chocolate and of course those damn eggs. I decided to start with something pretty easy but also pretty crucial to any dinner party… the center piece dish!
Every dinner party has one whether they know it or not and from what I gather when it comes to Easter the traditional super stars are Ham, Lasagna and Manicotti. We used a Tofurky to replace the the less compassionate ham but still played around with the whole cloves and baked it with a smokey maple and brown sugar glaze to create a vegan dish that will feel right at home being the center of attention.
Maple Glazed Holiday Roast
1 Vegan Holiday Roast (completely defrosted – we recommend using a Tofurky)
20-25 Whole Cloves
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Wine or Apple Juice
1 Tablespoon Applesauce
2-3 Dashes of Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
Pinch of Crushed Pink Himalayan Salt
Pinch of Crushed Black Peppercorns
Heat oven to 350.
Once your Holiday Roast is completely defrosted, use a large knife that doesn’t have a serrated blade and gently press a very shallow crisscross pattern across the top of your Holiday Roast. You can probably tell from our pictures that I made my cuts too deep in this roast. It didn’t make it look as polished but I did like having the flavorful glaze baking into the the Roast that deep. So it is up to you how deep you want to cut your pattern.
Take a bamboo skewer and gently poke a hole in the center of each diamond created on the Holiday Roast by the pattern. Cloves can be a little brittle so this will help you insert them into the Holiday Roast without crumbling. Very gently press your cloves into the holes in your Holiday Roast until the stem in completely inserted and just the little bud is showing. Place your Holiday Roast in a glass baking dish.
In your favorite mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients except any leftover cloves and 2 tablespoons of the Maple Syrup until the Brown Sugar dissolves. Then brush a layer of Glaze over your entire Holiday Roast. You want to make sure you get the ends and in the all the crack. Even lift your Holiday Roast in the dish so that any Glaze that has collected in the dish can cover the bottom. Then put your Holiday Roast in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
Then pull your Holiday Roast out and brush another layer of Glaze over the top and bake it for another 10 minutes. Then brush yet another layer of Glaze over the top and bake it for another 10 minutes. Let your Holiday Roast cool for 5-8 minutes and then drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup over the top.
Now you’re ready to Easter! (Or something)
I will give you a serving tip though – use a fork to pull the cloves out of your Holiday Roast before slicing it to serve. It not only makes it easier to slice but have you ever eaten a whole cloves? I’m pretty sure mankind wasn’t meant to. You’ll keep the spice flavor of the clove in the Holiday Roast even without the actual clove – so don’t worry about it.