What's Easter without a baked ham for dinner? Despite what tradition calls for, this isn't always the most practical centerpiece entree to serve (or deal with after dinner), especially you only have a few gathering around the table. If it's just you and your significant other this year, why not opt for our genius "Ham" for Two? Using a pork tenderloin, but treating it like you would classic baked ham, you can still get all that robust, porky flavor and traditional ceremony for dinner, without having to eat ham leftovers for the next month.

"Ham" for Two image
"Ham" for Two image
| Credit: Kelsey Hansen

Once all the eggs have been hunted and the baskets are emptied, it’s no secret that every Easter dinner requires one classic, centerpiece entree—and for many of us that, of course, is a baked ham. Make no mistake, we are all about enjoying a hefty, cured ham for a special occasion; we have nothing negative to say about the ceremonious experience that is gathering around a table, laden with the perfect side dishes, to slice and eat one of these beauties. However, it goes without saying that committing to buying, preparing, cooking, and consuming one of hunks of pork is no easy feat when you're not serving it for a relatively sizable group. But there is a savvier way to do ham.

If you know you won't be celebrating the holiday with extended family or friends this year, rather than signing up for a something-of-a-hassle endeavor when it comes to clean-up and addressing leftovers, we think you should look towards our clever "Ham" for Two recipe. It allows you to get the best of both worlds, as you can still enjoy a signature ham crowning glory on your Easter table, but with far less effort and without an overwhelming amount of leftovers.

This recipe is genius because it takes a more mangeable, budget-friendly cut of pork, the tenderloin, and prepares it in the same way that you would a ham (which comes from the hind leg of the pig). By curing and brining it in pink brining salt (which you can find at Williams-Sonoma) and dark brown sugar, it yields almost an identical color and flavor to your classic cured ham. Whether you’ve got a smaller family, or you just want to make room for other tasty mains and sides on the table, this Ham for Two is the perfect Easter compromise for an indecisive or noncommittal bunch. Because let’s face it, after a day-long marathon of candies, sweets, and all the Peeps, a Ham for Two is probably just the right amount you and your crew need to round out the holiday.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane