The traditional Christmas ham is the gift that keeps on giving well beyond the big day itself.
The tradition of eating ham is thought to have evolved from the Germanic pagan ritual of sacrificing a wild boar known as a sonargǫltr to the Norse god Freyr during harvest festivals. As with many pagan rituals and festivals it was adopted by early Christians in North Europe and has remained popular ever since.
We love the Christmas ham as it practically sustains us over the festive period – whether that be a cheeky ham, egg & chips, Boxing Day cold cuts, sandwiches and even the base for a quick soup. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.
- 2kg cured boneless gammon ham
- 1x onion, quartered
- 2x carrots, chopped
- 1x celery stick, chopped
- 1x tbsp black peppercorns
- 1x tsp coriander seeds
- 1x tsp fennel seeds
- Hand full of cloves
For the Glaze
- 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp mustard powder
- 20ml sherry
- Soak the gammon, if needed, as per instructions (the type and length of cure will determine how long it needs).
- Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add the onion, carrots, celery and spices and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes per 500g. We recommend using a probe – aim for an Internal temperature of 68°C.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
- Remove the gammon from the pan, you can reserve the cooking liquid for stock, soups or even some homemade mushy peas.
- Allow to cool slightly then remove the rind, leaving as much fat as possible. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and push a clove into each intersection of the score.
- Mix the glaze ingredients into a paste.
- Place the the gammon in a roasting tray and brush half of the glaze over the gammon. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, remove after 15 mins and brush with the remaining half of the glaze.
- Remove the gammon from the oven and set aside to cool.
Tips / Variations
For a more Christmassy-punch add some spices such as star anise, allspice, mace, cloves to the pan.
If you prefer a bit more of a kick from the glaze simply increase the quantity of mustard powder.