Ahhhhh Sticky Christmas Glazed Ham…..the thought of it makes my mouth water!
I love a sticky, caramelised glaze on top! This contrasts well with the natural saltiness of the ham, and a little bit of fat around the outside, that just melts in your mouth. Yum!
All you need to accompany it is boiled baby potatoes with a herb butter and some steamed greens like asparagus or beans. I get excited about the prospect of all the tasty things I can make with leftover ham too! If you’re cooking a ham for Christmas this year, and want an easy, mouth-watering recipe, here is one for you. If you can, definitely buy a free-range ham (ethics aside, they just taste better). Here are my top tips for cooking a Christmas ham:
- Remove the skin, but make sure you keep/retain the white fat underneath – this keeps the ham moist and it’s darn tasty when its cooked, adding a lot of flavour.
- It’s all about the re-glazing. You need to re-glaze your ham several times throughout cooking to make sure you get the ham nice and caramelised on top.
- I’ve given you a basic glazed ham recipe, but feel free to jazz it up with other flavours – if you’re a ham and pineapple fan, you can secure pineapple rings on the ham with toothpicks before glazing, or for a marmalade glazed ham, use marmalade in place of the honey or maple syrup.
- Make sure you allow the ham to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving – to make sure all the juiciness is retained in the meat.
- So here is my easy-peasy recipe for Christmas glazed ham, and there is a video you can watch here for extra tips and tricks!
free-range ham half a leg
whole cloves about 1/4 cup
water 1½ cups
brown sugar ½ cup
liquid honey or maple syrup ¼ cup (or to jazz it up a bit, you can use marmalade jam)
wholegrain mustard 1 tablespoon
brandy, rum or pineapple juice ½ cup
Pre heat oven to 175 degC/350 Fahrenheit
- Take a small sharp knife and cut a zig zag shape into the skin at the base of the ham hock – this is just for decoration more than anything. This is where you will remove the skin to. Using the small knife, loosen the skin away from the white fat along the cut edge. You want to keep the white fat on the ham, as this keeps the ham moist (and very tasty!). Loosen the skin by slipping your fingertips underneath, then pull the skin away, back to the zig zag at base of hock. Use a knife to score the white fat diagonally at about 2cm intervals. Push a whole clove into the criss cross or centre of each diamond. You can watch how I do this here.
- Wrap tinfoil around the end of the hock to stop it burning (this is if your ham has a hock, i.e. the bone end. If you have the chump end, i.e. no bone, then you don’t need to do anything). Place ham in a roasting dish, add water to the base of the dish and place in the oven for 20 minutes (the water helps prevent it from drying out).
- Meanwhile make the glaze; place brown sugar, honey or maple syrup and mustard into a saucepan and heat for a few minutes over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in brandy, rum or pineapple juice.
- After ham has cooked for 20 minutes remove from oven and brush well with the glaze. Return to oven for another 20 minutes. Re-glaze, remove the foil from the hock and bake for another 20 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water to the dish towards the end of cooking if it has completely evaporated. Re-glaze and cook for a final 20- 30 minutes. The ham should be caramelised and golden. Once ham is cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes until ready serve. Collect the ham juices and glaze from the base of the roasting dish and give the ham one final glaze with this just before serving.
- To serve, transfer ham onto a chopping board or large platter and slice thinly. Serve any remaining juices and glaze in a jug on the side to drizzle over the ham if desired. Toast your fellow Christmas guests Merry Christmas and dig in!