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!