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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


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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.


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