Our Favourite Christmas Ham

Our Favourite Christmas Ham

For the Ham:

  • 4kg Ham
  • 1 litre Ginger Ale
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Onion, peeled & Quartered
  • 2 Carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 Stick of Celery
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 can Pineapple Slices
  • Cherries
  • Toothpicks

For the Glaze:

  • finely grated zest of a large orange
  • juice of two oranges
  • 45ml Soy Sauce
  • 40ml Honey
  • 30ml grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • juice of halved lemon


Put the ham, ginger ale, bay leaves, cloves, onion, carrots, and celery into a deep pot. Add enough water just to cover the ham to a depth of 1 cm. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat so that the ham cooks at a simmer. Partially cover the pot with a tilted lid.  Cook it for 45 minutes per kilogram. Check the pot now and then, and top up with more water if necessary. Turn off the heat and leave the gammon in the liquid to cool completely.

Put all the ingredients for the glaze into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Bubble the the glaze for about 10 minutes, or until it has reduced by about half, is slightly syrupy and is forming big, slow-popping bubbles. Remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Remove the ham from the pot, pat it dry on kitchen paper and place in a roasting pan. (Stock can be freezed to be used in stews or soups). Peel away the rind and discard it. If there is a very thick layer of fat below the rind, scrape most of it away, leaving behind a thin layer. Cover the ham with the cherries (secure it with a toothpick) and pineapple rings.

Pour the glaze over the ham and place the pan under the hot grill, on the middle shelf of the oven. Every few minutes or so, baste the meat by scooping the glaze off the bottom of the pan and trickling it all over the top and sides. Leave the oven door slightly open and keep an eye on it as the glaze burns easily. When the ham has a rich, sticky crust, and there is just a little glaze left in the bottom of the pan, remove it from the oven. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes then, dribble any remaining glaze over the top and sides of the gammon with a teaspoon.  Serve hot or cold.

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