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.
TOP TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS HAM
- There's no need to soak the gammon before cooking.
- Instead of covering the gammon with water when poaching it (see Step 1 of the recipe below), why not try ginger beer or coke
- To save time use a pre made glaze like Gran Luchito's Smoked Chilli Honey Glaze available in most major supermarkets.
OTHER CHRISTMAS HAM RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- The Easiest Slow Cooker Christmas Ham from My Fussy Eater
- Traditional Honey Glazed Ham from Jo's Kitchen
- Spiced Cider Glazed Ham from Taming Twins
CHRISTMAS HAM WITH A SMOKED CHILLI HONEY GLAZE
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
- 2 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.
Pin the Christmas Ham for later...
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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.