Perfect Christmas Ham

Perfect Christmas Ham

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This perfect Christmas ham recipe will delight the whole family on Christmas day. Tried and tested many times over the years this is my family's foolproof recipe for a stunning Christmas ham. This ham is also fabulous for days afterwards for cold lunch leftovers and sandwiches.


Serves: 8 

  • Ham
  • 1.7kg gammon joint or similar leg ham
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 3 dried juniper berries, halved
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • whole cloves, as needed to insert
  • Glaze
  • 180g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:2hours  ›  Extra time:10min preserving  ›  Ready in:2hours40min 

  1. Ham: Take the ham out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Place the joint in a large saucepan of cold water for 20 minutes, then rinse.
  2. Place the ham back in the saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries, coriander seeds, allspice, cloves, orange juice and orange slices to the saucepan.
  3. Cook the ham covered on a very gentle heat for 90 minutes until the internal temperature of the ham is 68C. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool just slightly.
  4. Very carefully, peel off the skin and discard. Keep as much of the fat on as possible.
  5. Without digging into the meat, score the fat into diamond shapes.
  6. Insert a whole clove at each intersection.
  7. Place the ham onto a foil lined roasting pan, or on a trivet over a cast iron pan. Add a little water to the pan to prevent burning.
  8. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C.
  9. Glaze: Combine the sugar, marmalade, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a small saucepan, keeping back about a third of the sugar for sprinkling. Gently melt the glaze until it becomes a thick paste. Using a brush, rub the glaze gently onto the fat.
  10. The fat should be fully covered in the glaze.
  11. Bake in the hot preheated oven for 25 minutes, basting twice during that time. Each time you baste add a sprinkling of sugar. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.

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