A Christmas ham is a thing of joy and smoky, sticky deliciousness. This recipe is an easy to deliver but beautiful version that will really make you look accomplished to your friends and family – and keep them coming back for more!
Serves 3-4 people
smoked gammon 1kg-1.2kg joint
For the poaching liquor
whole black peppercorns 5g
bay leaves 3
onion 1 medium (approx 150g), quartered
red chilli 1 large (approx 6g)
celery sticks 100g (with leaves), roughly chopped
cold water 2 litres
For the glaze
dark brown sugar 120g
poaching liquor 60ml, from the pot
rum 50ml – any dark or gold, but I wouldn’t advise using white
cranberry juice 40ml
black treacle 3 tbsp
Place the joint of gammon in a deep pot (it will have a dark brown rind on it, don’t worry we will take that off later) and add all of the poaching ingredients, topping up with cold water to cover. Put a lid on the pot and simmer gently for 2 hours.
Remove the meat, cover with a cloth and leave to cool on a rack or board, and make your glaze:
Combine all the glaze ingredients in a pot and turn the heat right up and bring to a rolling boil. Let it vigorously boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down and let it boil a little more gently for 20 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and leave to one side.
Now, we return to the gammon joint. Take one corner of the brown rind and peel back gently. Take your time, there’s no rush; you want to remove the rind but leave the fat on the joint. Now take a small knife and score the fat – you just need to make a criss-cross pattern right across the top over all the fat.
Heat your oven to 170C fan/gas mark 5. Place the gammon joint in a baking dish and pour your glaze all over the meat, then slip into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
When 15 minutes are up, take the baking dish out and, with a long handled spoon, spoon the glaze from the dish back over the ham then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Repeat this three times. Then the ham will be ready, glazed and gorgeous.
Eat the ham hot with roast or mashed potatoes and loads of greens, or cold, sliced thinly in a toasted cheese sandwich.