Chipotle Pineapple Ham

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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12–16 pounds fully cooked spiral ham
3 cups Frontera Chipotle Salsa
about 3 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 medium white onion, diced
1 cup coarsely puréed fresh pineapple
orange zest, from 1/2 orange
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt, to taste


Heat the oven to 275F. Set the ham in a foil-lined roasting pan or on a heavy baking sheet. Score the ham in two opposite directions at 1″ intervals, cutting through the fat and about 1/4″ into the meat.

Using a basting brush, use 1 cup of the salsa to liberally baste the ham, then bake for 1-1/2 hours.

Baste the ham with about 2 Tbsp. of the oil. Hold a small, medium-mesh strainer filled with the sugar over the ham and shake the it all over to evenly coat the ham with sugar.

Return the ham to the oven and bake for about an additional hour, until a thermometer reads about 140F.

While the ham is baking, prepare the sauce: In a medium-size saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion turns browns, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of salsa, the pureed pineapple, orange zest, cherries or cranberries and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer the ingredients, stirring often, until the mixture reduces to the consistency of the original salsa, about 20 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, then taste and season with a little salt if you think it needs it.

For the buffet presentation, display the ham slices, slightly overlapping, on a large serving platter. Serve the salsa in a decorative bowl for your guests to spoon on the ham, as desired.

Recipe by Rick Bayless, Chef of Frontera Grill/Topolobampo.