Glazed Ham

Olive Magazine asked me to ‘challenge Gordon’ in their December issue, with a Christmas recipe of my choosing; I went for the glazed ham. A reader and their mates then tested both his recipe and mine and decided on a winner.

The idea of a straight ‘glaze-off’ seemed a bit dull and predictable so I decided to mix things up by using the cola method, which I’ve tried before and loved. The ham is covered and bubbled in the syrupy liquor, resulting in a ham infused with an addictive spicy caramel sweetness, helped along a bit by a couple of star anise and the humble onion. I kept the glaze simple with marmalade (zesty bits essential) and teeny hints of ginger and cinnamon. The cola makes the edges caramelise to a sticky, tooth-tacky sheen . And that’s what it’s all about. I burnt my fingers several times trying to pull off the edge bits.

It was a dead heat between mine and Ramsay’s ham, by the way. I can’t say I wasn’t hugely relieved not to lose. I bet he’s quaking in his sweary little boots…

Sweet and Spiced Glazed Ham

1 x 2kg mild-cure gammon
1 x 2litre bottle of cola
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 star anise

For the glaze

Cloves, for studding
225g marmalade (with zesty bits if possible)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Bring the gammon up to room temperature, then put it in a large pan, skin side down, add the onion and star anise and cover with the cola. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and rest the lid on top so that it is not fully sealed. Let bubble for about 2 1/4 hours.

Discard the cooking liquid, remove the ham to a plate and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to gas 7/210 C. Remove the skin from the ham, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and push a clove into the point of each diamond.

To make the glaze, put all the ingredients into a pan and let it bubble up to the boil then simmer for a few minutes until syrupy.

Brush the glaze all over the ham and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the ham, brush on some more glaze and bake for a further 10 minutes. If you do this more often then the outside will be even stickier. If you want to let the ham cool and then glaze it the next day, it will need longer in the oven – about 30 to 40 minutes.

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25 thoughts on “Glazed Ham

  1. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I used it last year for the Christmas ham and it was lovely. I wanted to do it again this year, but in the meantime I’d had a ruthless clear out and had chucked the Olive issue with this recipe in. Lifesaver.

  2. Hello all and thank you for your kind comments. Apologies for my tardy response – been very busy in the Christmas kitchen!

    In answer to your questions…

    Jonathan – Well I can think of nothing better than the cold collation! Pickles, cheese, bread etc… and of course, there is the duh duh duuuuh – SANDWICH!

    Discover Unearthed – no! that is all…

    Happy Christmas all!

  3. I did a ham with a similar glaze at the weekend but cooked it in cider rather than cola and mixed the marmalade with English mustard and ginger. Sooo Christmassy.

    Well done drawing with Gordon. (Suspect you’d have won but I seem to remember he got beaten last time so they probably thought he needed a break!)

  4. oh my lord that first photo had me drooling on my laptop! YUM! love the idea of cola as well, i can see how that would work. I bet yours was way better than Gordon’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. We often do our Christmas ham very traditionally – simmered for hours, and then glazed with mustard. I will try and convince Pops to do it this way, as it looks delicious.

  6. Hurrah, what a timely post – I’ve got a ham in the fridge at the moment and I was trying to decide on my glaze. I shall give this a try. Thanks Helen!


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