Festive gammon with slices cut on a serving plate

Festive gammon

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(10 ratings)

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

A challenge

Serves 16 - 20

A traditional ham recipe that's perfect for any celebration, especially at Christmas. The gammon needs brining overnight, but the results are well worth it

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal360
  • fat20g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre0g
  • protein36g
  • salt8.35g
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    For the ham and glaze

    • 1 unsmoked boneless gammon, weighing about 5kg
    • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
      Fennel seeds

      Fennel seeds

      feh-nell seeds

      A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

    • 2 tbsp cloves



      A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

    • 2 star anise
      Star anise

      Star anise

      star an-eese

      Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

    • 8 juniper berries
    • 750g demerara sugar
    • 300g sea salt flakes
    • 250g Dijon mustard

    For the stock

    • 6 carrots, peeled



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 2 heads celery, broken into sticks



      A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

    • 3 onions, halved



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 2 leeks



      Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

    • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved



      Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

    • 5 bay leaves
    • 1 bunch parsley



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

    • 100ml white wine vinegar


    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    15th Dec, 2008
    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.
    14th Dec, 2008
    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
    10th Dec, 2008
    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
    30th May, 2008
    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.
    13th Dec, 2007
    I think you just have to adjust the cooking times but ask your butcher or call Saturday Kitchen!)
    12th Dec, 2007
    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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