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In The Country Magazine
Farming In The Country Lifestyle

The Ultimate Christmas Ham Recipe

A Christmas ham is almost and dare I say it, sometimes, even better than the turkey at dinner. I don’t know about you but we always start Christmas off with a delicious and succulent glazed ham lovingly prepared by the chief chef that is my mother! Traditionally, we would have a delicious and fresh ham and eggs breakfast on Christmas morning. So many of us have different family traditions when it comes to a Christmas Dinner, some offer seafood options, whilst we wouldn’t dream of it in our household – not on Christmas Day!

I also totally appreciate that some may stick to an age-old family recipe they dig out from the loft or from deep within the kitchen cupboards and resort to each year, however if not, and you’re going it alone, we wanted to show you how to prepare the ultimate glazed Christmas ham.

Ingredients:

– 1 leg of ham on the bone 1.5 litres of cider – 3 tbsp mustard powder 10 black peppercorns

– 2 tsp ground ginger 6 tsp runny honey 175g demerara sugar

– 4 bay leaves

– 1 carrot, chopped – 1 onion, chopped – 1 celery stick, roughly chopped

You will also want some whole cloves for studding the ham, the amount you use is largely down to your personal preference.

Method:

Place the ham in a large stockpot and pour in the cider, then leave in a cool place to soak overnight. Heat the stockpot over a medium heat and add in the peppercorns, bay leaves, carrots and celery and gently bring to the boil. Then reduce to simmer for approximately 1 hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180C/160F/or gas mark 4.

Mix together in a bowl the sugar, mustard powder, honey and ginger. Place the ham in a large roasting tin, scatter around the onion and pour a small amount of the cider mixture into the bottom of the tin to sit around the ham.

Next very carefully, peel away the skin on the ham, leaving behind as much fat as possible. With a sharp knife, in a diamond pattern, score the fat. Press the whole cloves into the centre of each diamond. Next, smear the honey mixture all over the ham, coating it thoroughly.

Roast in the oven for at least an hour or until cooked through and the fat is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and rest for approx. 30 minutes before carving. Enjoy!

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