No holiday spread is complete without Kim’s glazed ham
We glaze hams all year round, a big fat quality leg ham on the bone is a crowd-pleaser for any event. But ‘the ham’ really comes into its own at Christmas time.
My top tip isn’t a cooking one, it’s a storage one. Have an old fridge in the shed which you can flick on at this time of year to hold the excess booze, food and ham, with the grace of space and without the fear of it dropping in your lap every time you open the fridge door.
Rule number one (number two after the fridge), is to buy the best ham you can. Expect to pay for it, our old breed ham legs from Rod at Dowto’s Family Meats in Wellington are worth the investment eating. Rod sources them from happy free-range farmers and smokes them in-house.
I recommend cooking the ham well ahead of time on a day when you don’t need the oven for anything else, this way you can let it tick away, glazing a few times during the cooking period without the inconvenience of lugging it in and out of the oven.
Then it’s time to grab a wine, sit back and enjoy the holiday festivities!
Wishing you the best,
- A whole leg ham, preferably on the bone.
Don’t be prescriptive here – use pineapple instead of orange juice, skip anything you don’t have and add the jars of bits and pieces lining the fridge door. Just check the balance of sweetness and acidity and that the liquid is a pouring consistency.
- 1 litre of orange juice
- 500 ml red wine
- 1 jar marmalade or jam/relish, the sort still in your cupboard from last year
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup good quality vinegar (I use chardonnay)
- 1 heaped tablespoon of seeded mustard
- 1 cup sweet chilli sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon five spice powder
- Several cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
- A few cinnamon quills, ground
- A few star anise
- A few fresh chilli, roughly chopped
- Cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
- Remove the skin of the ham, leaving the fat intact. I like to leave a collar of skin around the knuckle.
- Score the fat in any pattern you wish, a diamond shape is traditional. I don’t use cloves to stud the fat because I dislike cloves, but please yourself!
- Place the prepared ham in the largest heaviest pan you can find.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the ham, ensuring it’s well covered with the liquid.
- Place in the oven and cook for two to three hours, basting with the juices every half hour or so. If it colours too quickly cover it with baking paper, a lid or foil.
If you’re using it over more than a couple of days store it in a dampened calico bag or an old cotton pillow case was what my mum used to do. Don’t put it in plastic as it will go slimy. Make sure you make bubble & squeak at least once with the leftovers and ham fritters are also delicious hangover food. Not that any of us would drink too much at Christmas!