Christmas Ham…

Christmas time in my big kitchen is my favourite time of the year. We are always busy baking our fruit mince tarts, steaming plum puddings, rolling rum balls and cutting the coconut ice… just to name a few.

My favourite job is to take the skin from the double smoked hams, studding them with the aromatic cloves and basting them slowly with my favourite glaze.

The aromas floating through the kitchen each day is a reminder that holidays are just around the corner.

Glazed leg of ham with honey thyme and orange

1 x double smoked ham

For the Glaze
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons of runny honey
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch thyme, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 tablespoons of seeded mustard

Place all glazing ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to the simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool. This can be done a day or so in advance.

For the ham

Cut around the base of the shank and gently prize the skin away from the fat.

It is very important to leave as much fat on the ham as possible.

With a very sharp knife cut into the ham, scoring the fat down to the meat. Turn the ham the other way and cut across the ham so you end up with little diamond shapes (see picture above).

Stud the ham with cloves.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Place the ham on a baking tray lined with baking paper and pour the glaze over the top.

Place in the oven on the middle shelf, and keep glazing by scooping the glaze off the bottom of the pan a drizzling over intermittently until you get a lovely glossy caramelisation.

Serve hot or cold with fruit chutney on the side.