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Perfect Christmas ham recipe

Perfect Christmas ham recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork
  • Ham
  • Roast ham

This perfect Christmas ham recipe will delight the whole family on Christmas day. Tried and tested many times over the years this is my family's foolproof recipe for a stunning Christmas ham. This ham is also fabulous for days afterwards for cold lunch leftovers and sandwiches.


Hampshire, England, UK

77 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • For the ham
  • 1.7kg gammon joint
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 3 dried juniper berries, halved
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • the juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • For the glaze
  • 180g dark brown sugar
  • whole cloves, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ground black pepper, to taste

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:10min resting › Ready in:2hr40min

    For the ham:

  1. Take the ham out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Place the joint in a large saucepan of cold water for 20 minutes, then rinse.
  2. Place the ham back in the pan and add just enough water to cover. Add the herbs and spices to the pan.
  3. Cook the ham covered on a very gentle heat for 90 minutes until the internal temperature of the ham is 68C. Remove from the pan and allow to cool just slightly.
  4. Very carefully, peel off the skin and discard. Keep as much of the fat on as possible.
  5. Without digging into the meat, score the fat into diamond shapes.
  6. Insert a whole clove at each intersection.
  7. Place the ham onto a foil lined roasting pan, or on a trivet over a cast iron pan. Add a little water to the pan to prevent burning.
  8. Preheat the oven to 230 C / Gas 8.
  9. To make the glaze:

  10. Combine all of the ingredients to make the glaze into a small saucepan, keeping back about a third of the sugar for sprinkling. Gently melt the glaze until it becomes a thick paste. Using a brush, rub the glaze gently onto the fat.
  11. The fat should be fully covered in the glaze.
  12. Bake in the hot preheated oven for 25 minutes, basting twice during that time. Each time you baste add a sprinkling of sugar. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

great step by step photos, thank u-09 Dec 2015

Oven temp was too high so reduced but already burnt. Sprinkling sugar didn't seem to caramelize, possibly because already burnt on top. Tastes great though.-31 Dec 2017

This recipe was very easy to follow and so tasty. I could not find the juniper berries but dont think that made any difference. My first attempt at making my own ham - the whole family enjoyed it.-27 Dec 2017


How to cook the perfect roast ham

Thinking of trading your turkey for an alternative centrepiece this Christmas? A sweet and succulent roast ham could be just the showstopper you’re looking for. With a bit of prep, this festive favourite is really easy to make at home and is perfect for feeding a crowd. And, for anyone scaling down celebrations this year, you’ll have incredible leftovers to enjoy for days.

Take a look at our guide to buying and cooking the ultimate Christmas ham, plus ideas for delicious seasonal sides and serving suggestions.


Ham is a cut of meat taken from the back legs or sometimes the shoulders of a pig. It can be wet-cured, dry-cured, smoked, aged, or raw. The best cooking technique will depend on which type of ham you buy.

City Ham

Most store-bought hams are city hams. They&aposve been soaked in brine (wet-cured) and then either smoked or boiled before being sold fully cooked. Spiral-sliced hams are fully cooked city hams and can be served cold out of the package, but most people prefer to glaze and heat before they eat. Fully cooked hams can be heated to  to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

Try these ideas for glazing and heating fully-cooked ham:

    is baked with a simple glaze of beer, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard. is your homemade answer to that famous honey-baked ham. Glaze a spiral-cut ham with this sweet honey-butter sauce and stand back while your guests rush the table. deepens the flavor of a brown sugar/honey/pineapple glaze with a generous measure of bourbon whiskey. lets the flavor of the ham come through without a sugary glaze.

Country Ham

Country-cured hams are dry-cured by packing them in salt, and are often smoked over fragrant hardwoods and aged. They&aposre made from pigs that have been fed fruits and nuts to produce more flavorful meat. Some are aged seven years. Country-cured hams have a more intense flavor, but they&aposre drier than wet-cured, brined hams.

This recipe for Easy Slow Cooker Ham bathesਊ bone-in country ham in apple cider, maple syrup, and spices, and cooks it low and slow for a favorite holiday meal.

Fresh or Raw Ham

Fresh hams are sold uncured and uncooked, and must be fully cooked before eating.

Canned Ham

Canned ham can be a whole piece of ham, but is often several pieces of ham pressed together to make a ham "loaf." It&aposs fully cooked and sold in a sealed can. Follow package directions to glaze and heat, or try this simple recipe for Sweet Ham glazed with orange juice, brown sugar, and pineapple.


RECIPE: HAM DELIGHTS, THE PERFECT LITTLE PARTY SANDWICHES

I first had ham delights back in the 80′s when my in-laws, Sam & Carolyn, made them for a Christmas party. These were always at their get-togethers and while I’m not 100% sure where the recipe originally came from, I am 100% sure I stole it from them. Or it was given to me but regardless, I will never forget the first time I had them. I’ve made my own adjustment to the spread and sometimes change up the cheese to make it more interesting. These little sandwiches make an appearance for many of my get-togethers… even all these years later. They are so simple and perfect for a party because you can make them in advance and they freeze well so you can make a big batch and have them anytime. I always double the recipe and put a few trays in the freezer for later. Keep this recipe handy for tailgating season, too. Add some spicy chili or tomato soup and your friends will be happy no matter what happens with the game.

HAM DELIGHTS

Difficulty: Easy Category: Party Food

Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3 trays Pepperidge Farms Party Rolls or any mini party rolls (in the bread aisle of the store)

1 pound ham, shredded (use leftover ham or deli ham of any kind)

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, finely grated

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

1 small white or yellow onion

1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Prep the rolls by removing them from the tray. Using a serrated knife, slice through the middle so you have a top and a bottom half. Do not separate the individual rolls. Put the bottom back in the tray. Cover until later.

Next, grate the Swiss cheese if you did not buy the already grated kind.

Prep the ham by putting it into the food processor to shred it. Remove to a bowl.

Put the onion the food processor and finely chop. Add the butter, mustard, Worcestershire, S&P, cayenne, and the poppy seeds whir until it is a spreadable consistency.

Leaving the bottom half of the rolls in the tray, spread the top and the bottom of the rolls with the mixture. Add a layer of ham and a layer of cheese. Put the top on. Dab a little butter here and there on top. Cover the entire tray with foil and wrap tightly. Bake until toasty and cheese melts…. about 20 minutes.

Slice the rolls with a serrated knife and serve warm.

If you want a decadent variation on this classic, try my ham and cheese in puff pastry. Flaky, buttery, divine! Get the recipe.


35 Christmas Hams That Taste Amazing and Look Gorgeous on Your Dinner Table

They're perfect holiday ham recipes no matter how you slice 'em.

When it comes to cooking a turkey, once a year is enough. While Easter might have the biggest reputation for serving some delicious ham meals, anyone who has had Christmas ham knows how great the baked dish tastes on a cold winter night. A Christmas ham is one of those old school Christmas traditions that has stayed around for a reason.

As tempting as it may be on December 25th to head to the Cracker Barrel (which is open on Christmas!) there really is nothing that tastes better than a home cooked meal, and the hungry mouths at your table will agree. Thankfully, these Christmas hams are super easy to make and seriously delicious, and it doesn't hurt that they will look beautiful in the center of Christmas table. Just don't forget about the delicious appetizers and side dishes. And fear not vegetarians, or those cooking for vegetarians, we have some hearty Christmas dinners for you too (find 'em here!).


Celebrity chef’s guide to cooking the perfect Christmas ham

MKR’s Colin Fassnidge has given news.com.au his sage advice on how not to stuff up your Christmas ham.

This video gives a step-by-step guide to creating a showstopping mustard glaze for your Christmas ham, the ultimate centrepiece for your feast that both looks and tastes amazi.

This video gives a step-by-step guide to creating a showstopping mustard glaze for your Christmas ham, the ultimate centrepiece for your feast that both looks and tastes amazing!

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge with The Block star Australian Pork Limited marketing and communications manager, Mitch Edwards. Picture: Supplied Source:Supplied

There’s no better Christmas table centrepiece than a glistening ham.

Whether you serve yours hot or cold with a couple of bread rolls, a slather of aioli there’s nothing more festive than a baked ham.

But cooking the humble ham isn’t entirely foolproof, so to save you a Christmas day disaster we’ve called in the experts to help you nail yours.

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge with The Block star Australian Pork Limited marketing and communications manager, Mitch Edwards. Source:Supplied

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge and Luke Mangan have shared their top tips for “perfect” ham, so get up to speed now and avoid a dreaded cooking fail.

For Fassnidge, he suggests a few simple ingredients and a couple of hours on the clock.

“I like serving a pineapple, rum and ginger glazed ham, baked on the bone for two hours, basted and dark,” he tells news.com.au.

“I’ll then serve it with homemade pickles, crunchy bread and green salad.

“Ham is a tasty, low fuss Christmas option and perfect for our warm weather. It also means leftovers for a lazy holiday, from slices carved straight from the bone to sandwiches, croquettes and, finally, pea and ham soup.”

According to Australian Pork, around 1.7 million hams were sold in the four weeks leading up to Christmas last year.

“While around 80 per cent of ham and bacon sold in Australia is made from imported pork, the beautiful bone-in hams used as Christmas centrepieces are proudly Aussie pork. If it’s on the bone, it’s one of our own,” Mitch Edwards, Australian Pork Limited marketing and communications manager said.

Burnt honey, whiskey and orange glazed ham. Picture: iStock Source:Supplied

TOP TIPS FROM OTHER CELEBRITY CHEFS

LUKE MANGAN, CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR

Luke said you can use picnic ham but he prefers a cooked ham leg on the bone.

“Look for one with unblemished skin and a bronzed glow,” he said. “I bake my ham in a 190C oven. I prefer that to the barbecue for a few reasons: It helps to retain the meat’s juiciness and you have more control over the temperature. I also think Christmas hams already have a nice smokiness to it and cooking on a barbecue might overpower its natural smoky flavour.

“If you think you’ve overcooked your ham, don’t worry because you can just add more glaze on top once it’s been carved. It will soak into the meat and moisten it.”

Luke Mangan's glazed Christmas ham. Picture: Minhky Le Source:Supplied

LUKE’S RECIPE FOR GLAZED CHRISTMAS HAM

Score a shallow crisscross pattern in the fat of the ham and stud the middle of each crisscross with a clove then place the ham in a large roasting pan. For the glaze we use Guinness beer, maple syrup, honey and seeded mustard.

Put these ingredients into a pot and bring to the boil then pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour or until golden, basting with juices at 10-minute intervals. If juices in the pan evaporate too quickly, add a little more water.

To speed things up, you can score and stud the flesh 24 hours ahead of time then cover with the removed skin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to glaze and cook.

As the ham is already cooked, the purpose of glazing is to add your own flavour notes and to caramelise the fat. If your ham is larger or smaller, reduce or increase the cooking time until you are happy with the level of caramelisation.

Leftover Christmas glaze is a perfect condiment for barbecues, cheddar cheese, in sandwiches or with cold meats.

Use leftover ham to make a seasonal salad, like a simple ham salad with cherries, good quality feta cheese, slivered almonds and baby rocket — a delicious combination perfect for an Aussie summer’s day.

RYAN MCBURNEY, CORPORATE CHEF OF ARCADIAN ORGANIC AND NATURAL MEAT CO.

McBurney’s biggest tip is to use free-range ham.

“It’s no secret that farming with the animals’ welfare as an absolute priority translates to be the best ham you’ve ever experienced in terms of taste and texture. You’ll never look back,” he said.

Baked ham with cider and salted caramel glaze. Picture: supplied Source:Supplied

RYAN’S 5 MINUTE 5-STAR HOTEL HAM GLAZE

400g cumquat jam. Other varieties that work well are apricot, marmalade or red currant but I prefer the tartness of the cumquat.

150g brown sugar which really helps develop that golden colour and is a must for presentation

2 tbsp. of wholegrain mustard

Place all ingredients into a Pyrex bowl and microwave on high for approximately four minutes checking and stirring in one minute intervals until a syrupy liquid is achieved. Spoon or brush this on to ham liberally every five minutes during the last 30mins of roasting the ham.

*You can add cinnamon stick x1, star anise x 1, tsp of fennel seed and small quantity of cloves if you want an authentic Christmas taste.


This is a do-ahead ham: We pack it in an herb cure for several days for incredible flavor and juiciness.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Ham and Cheese Omelet

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Ham isn't just for lunch and dinner—it's great in the mornings, too. This breakfast omelet features mushrooms, cheese, and, yes, ham. While prosciutto is great for omelets, this recipe is just as delicious with leftover spiral ham slices.

Get our recipe for a Ham and Cheese Omelet.


30+ Best Leftover Ham Recipes That'll Turn the Christmas Feast into Delicious Meals

Though you may not be hosting a large Christmas party of friends and family this year as you might have in years past, chances are you'll still have plenty of ham to spare after your Christmas dinner. It's one of the unyielding rules of a Christmas ham: If you make one, there will be leftovers.

Thankfully, there's little more versatile than leftover ham for turning into dozens of delicious dishes. So don't feel like all you're stuck with is a few cold cut sandwiches and a bone for making some split pea soup. For instance: you can butter up some biscuits and slap some ham between them for a delicious Southern-style app or snack. You can chop it up and toss a handful into your favorite quiche. You can slide it into risotto, pop it into an egg bake, or slap a slice onto your French toast for an extra fancy breakfast. (There are so many ways that ham makes breakfast better.)

So fret not! This year's holiday celebration may be smaller than in years past, but that doesn't mean you need to skimp out on the cooking. Whip up a Christmas cocktail, pop some sides in the oven, and make yourself a big ol' Christmas ham, safe in the knowledge that we've got plenty of ideas for you to use up the leftovers. It's the gift that keeps on giving, and this year, we could all use a whole lot more of that.


Expert guide to cooking the perfect Christmas ham

Everyone has their own “secret” way of cooking this Christmas staple. Here five experts explain how they do it.

The perfect snack for this Christmas.

The perfect snack for this Christmas

This is what Luke Mangan's glazed Christmas ham looks like. Picture: Minhky Le Source:Supplied

Australians prefer a juicy ham to a stringy old turkey at Christmas. Last year Woolworths sold 550,000 wood-smoked hams in the lead-up to the big day, compared to just 80,000 turkeys.

It’s not surprising when you consider ham is easier to cook — and for that matter harder to mess up — than the traditional Christmas bird. Plus it’s great cold, making it better for our summery Christmas weather.

Handful of prawns, couple of bread rolls, slather of aioli and some slabs of cold ham with a champagne chaser? That’s an Aussie Christmas right there.

But cooking the humble ham isn’t entirely foolproof and everyone has their own way that they say works.

We asked a bunch of Australian chefs and producers for their top Christmas ham recipes and tips.

1. LUKE MANGAN, CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR

You can use picnic ham but I prefer a cooked ham leg on the bone. Look for one with unblemished skin and a bronzed glow.

I bake my ham in a 190C oven. I prefer that to the barbecue for a few reasons: It helps to retain the meat’s juiciness and you have more control over the temperature. I also think Christmas hams already have a nice smokiness to it and cooking on a barbecue might overpower its natural smoky flavour.

If you think you’ve overcooked your ham, don’t worry because you can just add more glaze on top once it’s been carved. It will soak into the meat and moisten it.

LUKE’S RECIPE FOR GLAZED CHRISTMAS HAM

Luke Mangan's glazed Christmas ham. Picture: Minhky Le Source:Supplied

Score a shallow crisscross pattern in the fat of the ham and stud the middle of each crisscross with a clove then place the ham in a large roasting pan. For the glaze we use Guinness beer, maple syrup, honey and seeded mustard.

Put these ingredients into a pot and bring to the boil then pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour or until golden, basting with juices at 10-minute intervals. If juices in the pan evaporate too quickly, add a little more water.

To speed things up, you can score and stud the flesh 24 hours ahead of time then cover with the removed skin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to glaze and cook.

As the ham is already cooked, the purpose of glazing is to add your own flavour notes and to caramelise the fat. If your ham is larger or smaller, reduce or increase the cooking time until you are happy with the level of caramelisation.

Leftover Christmas glaze is a perfect condiment for barbecues, cheddar cheese, in sandwiches or with cold meats.

Use leftover ham to make a seasonal salad, like a simple ham salad with cherries, good quality feta cheese, slivered almonds and baby rocket — a delicious combination perfect for an Aussie summer’s day.

2. TERESA CUTTER aka THE HEALTHY CHEF

Being of Polish heritage I grew up on ham. Ham is the showstopper Christmas tradition that’s perfect for feeding a hungry crowd and it’s super easy to prepare, especially if you start off with amazing quality ham.

My family made sure to purchase amazing double smoked ham from our local Polish butcher — it was free range Berkshire ham that had a delicious rich flavour and delicate texture. We ate it with sides of homemade sauerkraut, beetroot and horseradish salad, steamed green vegetables, coleslaw and a simple potato salad made with apple cider vinaigrette and generous amounts of Dijon mustard.

TERESA’S RECIPE FOR GLAZED CHRISTMAS HAM

It’s important to take the ham out of the fridge an hour before you intend to prepare and bake it, which allows it to come to room temperature and makes it easier to handle.

Start by carefully removing the rind, gently massaging the skin away from the ham, ensuring the fat is left intact.

I like to score the fat using a small paring knife in a crisscross pattern over the top to form little diamonds.

Combine ¼ cup of pure maple syrup with 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar then brush a little of the glaze evenly over the ham. Place on to a roasting tray lined with baking paper and pour in 2 cups of water to keep your ham moist. Bake for 1½ hours at 160ଌ glazing every 30 minutes. Cover with foil if the ham is getting too browned. Remove from the oven when your ham is rich, glazed and looking amazing then allow to settle for 10 minutes before devouring.

The leftover ham hock is perfect for soups and stocks made with a mirepoix of garden vegetables and fresh herbs. I make a wonderful Ribollita (Tuscan bread soup) with ham stock, slow simmered cavolo nero, white cannellini beans and sauteed onion.

And leftover ham is perfect to pile inside a magnificent omelette with fresh tomato and a little Gruyere, or piled into large field mushrooms with ricotta and spinach for amazing mushroom pizzas. My dad also loves quiche, so I make a simple olive oil and spelt shortcrust then make the most magnificent pie made with organic free-range eggs, sliced leftover ham, spinach and spring onion. My hubby Paul also gets me to make him bubble and squeak from leftover mashed spuds and generous amounts of smashed green peas.