My parents-in-law always say they don’t want anything for Christmas, so I tend to make them edible treats and this year is no different.
Along with a batch of sausage rolls – without any spice – I whipped up a Christmas ham for them.
I always get my gammon from the butcher, that way I know it has a good rind on it. Do not remove any ‘netting’ around the meat, as this will hold the shape for you. Start by allowing it to soak in moving water for at least 2-3 hours, then pop the meat in a saucepan to slowly boil. You can use water, but I like to use apple juice or cider to give the meat a nice flavour. Cover the ham completely with your chosen liquid and add a few cloves and a cinnamon stick, put the lid on the pot and leave it on the lowest heat for 2-3 hours. Keep checking to make sure you still have enough liquid in there.
Test the meat with a serving fork and when it’s cooked, transfer the meat to a board and carefully cut off the rind, leaving a good amount of fat. Remember it will be hot, so take extra care.
Now, score the fat to make diamond shapes across the top of the joint and pop in a roasting dish – I line mine with foil for less washing up!
Pour over some runny honey and stud the diamonds with cloves for a pretty finish. You can do a mix of honey and mustard, a fruit jelly, such as quince or even apricot jam for the glaze – play and have fun.
Now pop in the oven at 180C for around 20-30 minutes to allow the glaze to get a nice colour on it. I take it out every 10 minutes, just to baste again with any glaze that has melted off and to make sure it doesn’t burn.
You can serve his hot or cold.