Is there anything better than a Christmas ham? I love it so much that I like to have two Christmas hams on the go. One for the actual day and another to snack on during December. So for the purposes of snacking I picked up a ham from the brilliant Meatsmith butcher shop and baked and glazed it over the weekend ready for snacking action.
Your Christmas ham will only be as good as the pig you have to work with so buy the best you can afford. The Meatsmith hams were rated as the best in Good Food’s annual review of hams and are made using Tamworth free range pigs. It’s an expensive ham at over $100 but it’s worth noting cheaper hams like Aldi’s also got the thumbs up. To make it extra special it’s worth baking and glazing your ham. It’s easy to do, looks spectacular and adds a lovely sweet and sticky flavour to the more savoury porky goodness of the ham. You can mix things up with the glaze adding bourbon, cider and whatever spices take your fancy but I like to go with a traditional Christmas combination of orange, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
The other thing it’s worth using is a ham bag so your ham will keep for longer. You can buy a “ham bag” but you really just need a calico bag which you dip in water with a splash of vinegar. Keep the ham in the fridge in this bag with its skin over the top and remember to wet the bag when it dries out. Follow this method and you should be happily snacking until December.
- The best ham you can buy.
- 2 tbsps cloves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
- 2. Make the glaze by combining the brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan and bringing to a simmer on the stove top over a low heat.
- 3. Meanwhile using a sharp knife carefully detach the skin of the ham trying to keep it intact (you use it to cover the ham later) and leaving as much fat on the ham as possible.
- 4. Lightly score the fat on the ham being careful not to cut into the meat itself in a chequer pattern. Dot the ham with the cloves.
- 5. Place the ham on a wire rack over a deep baking tray filled with 250mls of water. Brush with the glaze.
- 6. Roast for about 1.5 hours. Every 15 mins or so brush with the glaze collected from the bottom of the roasting tray until it's a beautiful golden colour. If the glaze dries up just add a bit more water.
- 7. Leave to stand for about half an hour then it's ready to carve.