How to prepare a ham

Looking for a crowdpleaser for a big celebration? The Good Food cookery team show you how to cook and glaze a ham for the perfect centrepiece dish.

Points to remember

  • If necessary, soak the gammon (ham) in cold water to reduce saltiness, according to butcher or packet instructions (most do not need this anymore as curing methods have changed).
  • Weigh to calculate the cooking time.
  • Place in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 30 mins per 450g/1lb, periodically skimming and discarding any white froth that comes to the surface.
  • Drain, reserving the stock if you like, leave to cool a little, then remove the top layer of skin, leaving a thin layer of fat around the meat.
  • Score the fat, then brush with a glaze of your choice. Place in a foil-lined roasting tin and bake at 220C/fan 200C for 20-30 mins (based on a 5kg ham) or until the glaze is golden.