Relax, don’t stress, your ham will be delicious


Are you like me – you work all year, then suddenly it’s Christmas and you are expected to put on a delicious feast for all the relatives, some of whom you may only see at Christmas each year.  Sadly I no longer have a mother-in-law to cook for, my mother is  not coming to our place this year, (she’s spending Christmas with her sister) but many of you may be cooking for a large group of the older generation and may be feeling stressed out about cooking such a feast.  Relax, don’t stress I can help with the recipe I’ve used for many years.   

We’re having ham for Boxing Day dinner this year – we’ve given our turkey away so ham it is.  While we can grow our own hams, we saw some lovely ones at the supermarket yesterday so if you still haven’t bought one it is not too late.

Ham is a piece of meat that has been cured and is typically a large piece of meat, so you can eat it for days and days and days (another blog post coming up!)  You will need to cook it for about 20 minutes per kilogram.  Ours are about 6 – 7 kg so this glaze is enough for a ham of that size.  If your ham is frozen (as ours is) take it out of the freezer in good time.  I’ll take ours out on the 23rd of December, so that it can thaw gently in the fridge until Tuesday.

You can make this glaze ahead of time on Christmas Eve and then put it all together when you are ready to bake your ham or you can make it on the day of your feasting.

You will need:

cloves (lots – about a small packet)

2 or 3 red onions, cut into smaller wedges, eighths if you can

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed (or bought) orange juice

1/4 cup brandy (you can leave this out, but use a little more other liquid)

1 cup marmalade (I typically use our own brand of Traditional Marmalade, but Seville would be nice too,, and Seville and Pineapple marmalade even nicer)

2 t of whole grain or chunky mustard

Preheat the oven to 160 deg C.

You need to separate the skin from the meat, so run (clean) fingers under the skin to separate it from the fat.  Peel the skin off and discard it.

With a sharp knife, score diamonds all over the fat. Push a clove into the centre of each diamond, and then put the ham in a large roasting pan.  Place the ham in the oven and roast for the required period of time.

In a small bowl or pot mix the sugar, orange juice, brandy if you are using it, marmalade and the mustard.  You can gently heat this in the microwave until it bubbles gently, or simmer in a pot for a couple of minutes.

When the ham still has 1 hour of cooking time left, remove the pan from the oven and place the onion wedges around it.  Brush everything generously with the glaze.  Repeat the glazing several times over the next hour, making sure that you also scrape up the yummy bits and drizzle these over the ham and the onions too.

And you’re done! Congratulations – now let the admiration flow.

Slice the ham and serve it warm or cold, accompanied by the onions.



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