Whatever you do – don’t do what I did a couple of years ago on Christmas Eve. Staying in Hat Head for Chrissie with the whole family, I was helping unpack the car when I reached for the shopping bag that housed the ham. Now I should of known the bag would be heavy, having bought it myself; I’d shopped around to find the biggest ham possible (Kooringal Meats in Wagga is the place to go). Too busy talking and not concentrating though, something twinged as I picked it up and I pulled my back out; total agony! Having to be carried up the stairs by Pete and Dad, everyone had a bit of a laugh at my expense.
That is until we realised how badly I’d hurt myself. I couldn’t move. We FaceTimed our good friend, Em Hosie’s mum, Beth (a physio) as there was nothing open to help me in my hour of need. She kindly stepped us through how I should be strapped. My family is a lot of things – medical, we are not. Gosh did we all have fun trying to strap me up (which seemed to be very close to my naked bottom). I spent the rest of the week barking orders through to the kitchen from my position on the couch.
Now there’s nothing better than a beautifully glazed Christmas ham to feed a crowd come Christmas Day, at a Chrissie party, picnic race meet or to bring out late in the evening at a wedding. Carved finely and loaded up with some mustard and rocket leaves in a fresh bread roll, there’s nothing better. Or go for some tomato relish or caramelised onion and coleslaw- it really hits the spot.
This is an age old recipe – one that my mother-in-law has been making for years and years, it comes from the good ol’ Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook. I double the recipe cause you can never have too much glaze and it’s fabulous having leftover ham in the fridge the next day!
A word to the wise; make sure you pick the cloves out before carving. If you’ve never bitten in to a whole clove before, you won’t know what I’m on about. Let me just say- you’ll need a fair few glasses of champagne to get rid of the taste.
And with Chrissie just around the corner, the ham ordered and ready to go, I’ll be careful to bend my knees and take care when carrying it in from the car. Nobody wants to pull their back out at this time of year. Imagine not being able to swim – especially when the weather forecast is predicting temperatures of 41 degrees in Deni this year. Yikes.
The only good thing that came out of my “ham episode” at least, is that it got me out of all the washing up!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas filled with family, friends and of course – a nice cold drink and something good to eat.
the best glazed christmas ham
1 x leg of ham
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 x cup of honey
3 x dessertspoons of French mustard
4 x tablespoons of dry sherry
2 x tablespoons of soy sauce
- Preheat your oven to 180℃.
- I strongly suggest to get your butcher to do this for you, but failing that – using a very sharp knife, remove the rind from the ham. Do this by gently pulling the layer of fat back with one hand, using your other hand to gently massage the ham to help the skin come away from the flesh. You want to take the outer rind off and be left with a layer of white fat (this is what the glaze sticks to).
- Carefully run your knife over the fat layer in a cross cross pattern (being careful not to cut too deep and in to the meat).
- Place a clove in the middle of each diamond pattern (see pic below).
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, honey, mustard, sherry and soy sauce and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place the ham in a large baking dish and using a pastry brush, brush the ham with the glaze.
- On the lowest shelf of the oven, place the ham and bake for an hour, making sure that you continue to brush the rest of the glaze over the ham whilst its cooking. (I brush the glaze over the ham about four times throughout the cooking process until it’s all used up).
- The ham is ready once the glaze has caramelised and looks lovely and shiny on top. (Remember you’re not actually cooking the ham from scratch as it’s already cooked. You’re just heating it through and cooking the glaze).
- Buy your ham from a good butcher and ask him to take the top layer of fat off for you (but leaving the skin unscored so that you can do that bit yourself).
- Carve the ham finely and eat it cold on a fresh bread roll or eat the ham straight away when it’s still hot from the oven.
- Remove the cloves during the carving process too, to avoid anyone biting in to one.
See below for some flashback photos from our Christmas party a couple of years ago, where the ham is always the star of the show.
Cork Daddy on the bar.
Flashback to our Christmas party a couple of years ago.
Shorty doing a great job of the carving.
If you make this glazed ham, please leave your comments below. xx