Skip to main content

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham

I love a nice Christmas ham during the festive season - you can't beat it for taste. I always serve one alongside the turkey on Christmas Day as we're a greedy bunch here and like plenty of choice in the meat department. If you don't manage to scoff the lot, there are plenty of options for the leftovers too. I like to stir leftover ham into macaroni cheese or make a warming ham soup but other ideas include putting it in quiches, toasties, omelettes or on a homemade pizza. If you're really desperate there's no reason why you couldn't slice and freeze it for use at a later date (as long as it hasn't been frozen before)....but I'm never that desperate. There's always someone sneaking into the fridge for a piece.

In terms of the perfect way to cook a gammon (gammon is the term for the raw form of the joint), I always poach it in a festively fragrant cooking liquid with cinnamon, star anise, clementine and cloves. Then it's into a roasting tin with a honey based glaze and a blast in the oven for half an hour to brown up. I was sent a new Smoked Chilli Honey glaze from Gran Luchito recently and tried it on this piece of gammon in place of my usual glaze. It was very very nice but has a bit of heat so best reserved for adults I think - for stockists see here. The recipe I give below is for my homemade honey glaze which is also really tasty.

This method of cooking my Christmas ham has never failed me and produces a lovely moist piece of meat. I always tend to cook it the day before too, saving time and oven space on Christmas Day. To reheat, just slice it up and layer it into a shallow baking dish with a sprinkle of water before giving it a 10 minute warm up in the oven. To be honest we're happy to eat it at room temperature though so I don't usually bother reheating it at all.

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham


  1. There's no need to soak the gammon before cooking.
  2. Instead of covering the gammon with water when poaching it (see Step 1 of the recipe below), why not try ginger beer or coke
  3. To save time use a pre made glaze like Gran Luchito's Smoked Chilli Honey Glaze available in most major supermarkets.


  1. The Easiest Slow Cooker Christmas Ham from My Fussy Eater
  2. Traditional Honey Glazed Ham from Jo's Kitchen
  3. Spiced Cider Glazed Ham from Taming Twins

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham


print recipe
How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham
The Perfect Christmas Ham
How to cook the perfect Christmas Ham with tips on the best poaching stock and also a sticky smoked chilli honey glaze.
  • 2kg Boneless Gammon Joint
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 TSP Peppercorns
  • 1 TSP Coriander Seeds
  • Bay Leaves
  • 25 Cloves
  • 4 Star Anise
  • 1 Clementine
  • 1 TSP Mustard Seeds
  • For the glaze
  • 5 TBSP Honey
  • 2 TBSP Wholegrain Mustard
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
Step 1: Place the gammon in a large pan (with lid) with the onion, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, cloves, star anise, mustard seeds and clementine and then cover with water.Step 2: Bring to the boil on the hob then turn down the heat, place a lid on and cook on a low simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes.Step 3: Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) and place the ham (discard the water and spices etc) in a baking tray. Mix together the glaze ingredients (if not using the Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Honey Glaze).Step 4: Spoon the glaze over the ham and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Yield 8

Pin the Christmas Ham for later...

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham

How To Cook The Perfect Christmas Ham



Disclosure: I was sent a jar of Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Honey Glaze and a gammon joint from Lakehaven Farm (delivered by Market Porter). All thoughts are my own.


  1. Thanks for the recipe and tips! I've never made ham before but it's been requested this year for Christmas, so this will come in handy! Wish me luck!

  2. I like the idea of a slightly spicy glaze. I am going to make one with the various preserves I have in the larder and see how that turns out.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!

Popular posts from this blog

Honey and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

These flapjacks are now my official weekday grab and go breakfast. I make a big batch on Sunday evening and I'm all set for the week. Oddly I don't really like peanut butter but it works well in this recipe. You can always substitute it for an extra 100g of ordinary butter if you wanted. A handful of raisins makes a nice addition too.

OTHER FLAPJACK RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKEBanana and Coconut Flapjacks from Jam and Clotted CreamCherry Oat Bars from A Mummy TooChocolate and Banana Flapjacks from Tinned TomatoesDark Choc Chip Flapjacks from Munchies and Munchkins

print recipe
Honey and Peanut Butter Flapjacks by Beth Sachs October-8-2012 These flapjacks make a great grab and go breakfast or after school snack Ingredients 100g Butter100g Peanut Butter200g Demerera Sugar200g Clear Honey400g Rolled Oats Instructions Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180c and line and grease a 30 x 20cm tin.Step 2: Melt the butter, peanut butter, sugar and honey together…

Golden Syrup and Oat Cookies

My Mum used to make these moreish buttery cookies all the time and they bring back great childhood memories of licking the syrup spoon clean. They take less than 10 minutes to make and 10 minutes in the oven so they are super speedy for busy days...and most importantly the kids love them.


print recipe
Golden Syrup and Oat Cookies by Beth Sachs August-17-2009 A super easy golden syrup and oat cookie recipe. Ingredients 100g Butter100g Caster Sugar2 TBSP Golden Syrup100g Self Raising Flour100g Oats1/2 TSP Bicarbonate of Soda Instructions Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c Fan and line two baking sheets with baking paper.Step 2: In a large pan melt the butter, syrup and sugar then stir in the flour, oats and bicarbonate of soda.Step 3: Roll into large walnut size balls and place well apart on the baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes.
Details Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 MinutesTotal time: 20 Minutes
Yield:Makes 15 cookies

Pin the Golden Syrup and Oat C…

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne (No Browning Required)

My slow cooker is my best friend on week days, especially when it's a recipe like this Chilli Con Carne that requires NO pre browning of the meat. It takes all of 3 minutes to 'make' before leaving the slow cooker to do all the hard work during the day. Then, when you get in from a long day at work and the kids are starving, all you need to do is cook some rice and grate some cheese! If you have any leftovers you can stir them into cooked pasta the next day along with some creme fraiche and grated cheddar for a super simple chilli pasta bake. Everyone in my house loves this recipe...well apart from the kidney beans which the kids aren't too keen on!

TOP TIPS FOR MAKING SLOW COOKER CHILLI CON CARNEIf your children actually like kidney beans (mine usually pick them out) add another tin for extra fibre.Instead of adding the spices separately you could buy a Chilli Con Carne spice sachet (e.g. Schwartz) and use that instead.If you like a bit of heat add a tsp of dried chi…

Chocolate Honeycomb Salted Caramel Cheesecake

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a cheesecake. If I'm eating out and there is a cheesecake on the menu, I WILL make room for it and any ensuing indigestion is well worth it in my opinion. Similarly, if you turn up at my house on a high day or holiday you'll find a homemade cheesecake being served. I just never get bored of them and have been known to polish off a slice for breakfast on occasion. One of my all time favourite cheesecake recipes is a baked raspberry one that gets an outing several times a year at the request of friends and family. Despite my tried and tested recipe, I thought it was about time that I developed something new to add to my cheesecake repertoire.

This no bake Chocolate Honeycomb Salted Caramel Cheesecake was by all accounts a bit of a revelation.... in taste and looks! It's definitely got the WOW factor and I'm very glad I decided to 'branch out'.

The base of the cheesecake is made from crushed milk chocolate digestive bis…