Festive ham

Festive ham

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(8 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 4 hrs Plus 24 hrs brining

Skill level

For the keen cook

Servings

Serves 16 - 20

While you'll probably only want to use this recipe at celebrations, good, wholesome food like this festive ham is appropriate for any day - by chef Richard Corrigan

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
360
protein
36g
carbs
10g
fat
20g
saturates
7g
fibre
0g
sugar
8g
salt
8.35g

Ingredients

For the ham and glaze

  • 1 unsmoked boneless gammon, weighing about 5kg
  • 2 tbsp each coriander and fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 750g demerara sugar
  • 300g sea salt flakes
  • 250g pot Dijon mustard

For the stock

  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 2 heads celery
  • 3 onions, halved
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 100ml white wine vinegar

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Method

  1. For the brining: take all the spices for the glaze and toast them in a frying pan until they begin to release their fragrance. Grind using a pestle and mortar, then tip into a food processor with the sugar and blitz everything together to make a spice mix. Tip two-thirds of the mix (reserving the rest in a sealed plastic container) into a large pan with the salt and 5 litres of water and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. When the mix has cooled, pour it over the ham and leave in the fridge to brine for 24 hrs.
  2. After 24 hrs, wash off the brine. Place the ham in a large pan with the stock veg, herbs and vinegar. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 3 hrs, topping up with water as necessary. Turn off the heat and leave the ham to cool in the stock.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the ham from the stock and cut away the top layer of fat and skin. Score the fat in a criss-cross and brush with the mustard, then pack on the reserved spiced sugar. Roast for 35-40 mins until the glaze has completely caramelised and become sticky. Allow the ham to rest for at least 10 mins before carving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2005

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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happyphantom's picture
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I made this for the firs time this year, to take along for Christmas lunch with my family. I used a 3kg ham and adjusted the recipe accordingly. It was really tasty, tender and everyone loved it, there were 7 of us and there was still plenty left over. Great as sandwiches with chutney! Really loved the recipe will be making it again.

nefetiti's picture
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Smileycook6 it is time consuming the first time you make it but really worth it, and what I did the following year was prepare the brining mix and put it in an airtight container till I needed to use it, as that's what takes up time.

R Smith, definitely follow the recipe, the brining in water is essential, it might seem like a faff but it's essential.

I'm making mine now, doing the boiling on Christmas Eve so I only have to pop it in the oven tomorrow, saving time, and like everyone else has said, friends and family alike, love it!

smileycook6's picture
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me and my dad have attepmpted to cook this today and think its a bit of a lengthly process but we tried simply soaking the ham in the cooled brine overnight and this seems to be working well so far ...

jujugoodasnew's picture
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I leave it in a deep dish in fridge surrounded by the cooled liquid/spice mix and then turn the gammon over half way through brining to soak both sides as usually it is much bigger than the dish! Think the liquid is key to the brining. Sound tricky but I am a complete novice and manage to produce this each year.

ragnew12's picture

When the method suggests, "When the mix has cooled, pour it over the ham and leave in the fridge to brine for 24 hrs." Do you leave the ham sitting in 5 liters of watery mix for 24 hours, or just the solid parts of the mix?

I want to use this for Christmas but dont want to ruin my ham!!

jujugoodasnew's picture
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Best hanmrecipe I have ever tried. I have made it 4 years in a row as everyone asks 'are you doing the ham again'? We have it with fresh colcannon on Christmas eve with plenty left - it always goes! Brining makes the spice infusion subtle.

schadylady's picture
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Lengthy process, but delicious results. Our guests loved it. We 'cheated' and did this with gammon joints, adjusting cooking time accordingly. Ham was moist and with a subtle spiced flavour.

nickkie's picture

This ham recipie has to be the king of all reciepies!! I have made this for the last two years running and can honestly say that this is now what i am known for through family & friends!! Dont count on left overs for yourself after as i have never known there to be any left!!

nefetiti's picture
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Sorry I forgot my rating. Foxy you may want to contact Good Food and ask as the recipe calls for green/unsmoked gammon but the vinegar must counter the saltiness. Best to contact the experts.

Jeanette a really good truffle mash or onion and cheese pudding (from a previous Christmas edition of Good food) would be great side dishes as would the celeriac puree which is in this months edition

nefetiti's picture
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I have made this Ham for the last two years and it has always been a huge hit. Absolutely moreish and loved by everyone young, and old. It's also not so labour intensive on Christmas day, and to be honest it's a better alternative when it comes to leftovers.

jeannette's picture

hi we are having gammon for christmas day instead of turkey, can any one suggest how to cook if best for the big day????? and wot to go with it!!!! thanks

rachelaveyard's picture

i have a gammon to cook for christmas and would love to try this recipe but my gammon has already been brined so is this a double dose of salt? or can i omit this stage?
confused?!

whitester's picture
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This is a truly wonderful recipe. I have halved the ingredients as a 5kg ham was a bit too big for us and it has always turned out perfectly.

eahorwell's picture
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I think you just have to adjust the cooking times but ask your butcher or call Saturday Kitchen!)

bellfield's picture

I already have a ham for Christmas, bone in - can anyone advise on why bone in is a problem and can the recipe be adapted

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