I really love this way of cooking a ham at Christmas. I think a nice well cooked ham adds so much to a Christmas dinner and I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I love making it for family at Christmas and they have all given it the thumbs up and I know you will get the same reaction!
The first thing to do with this ham is to go to your butcher and make sure you buy Irish quality assured Bord Bia ham. Now the recipe below will say to do it on the bone but you can do it off the bone too and this will be easier to carve but I would say that ham on the bone has better flavour.
I cooked the ham a slightly different way on RTE One last week on my Christmas Home Chef special. First of all I have to say a big thank you for all the fantastic feedback that I have got from people about the show, it really means a lot that people enjoyed it. For that ham we braised it in the oven in cider and apple juice and ginger and some vegetables and it was delicious.
For this recipe however we are boiling it and it goes to show that there is more than one way to cook a beautiful ham. But if you would like you can still add cider to this recipe.
The glaze for this recipe can be made in the next few days and will keep happily in your fridge up to three weeks. It is really delicious. The allspice that is used to help make the glaze can be bought in the majority of supermarkets but be careful not to confuse it with Old Spice!
Finally the pineapple salsa that this is served with this is just beautiful. It is made with pineapple, chilli , some Donegal Rapeseed Oil and a little bit of red onion and really cuts through the richness of the ham.
The Ham for me is always one of the stars of the show and it can be boiled a few days in advance and then glazed Christmas morning. I really hope you enjoy this ham, it is just so so full of flavour.
Maple Glazed Ham
Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight is best, and then drain. Weigh the gammon joint and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes – a 5.25kg (11lb) joint should take about 4 hours. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum. Add the celery, onions, thyme and peppercorns and return to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer until completely tender, occasionally skimming off any scum that rises to the top. If you aren’t sure the gammon is properly cooked, check the bone end – it should come away freely from the gammon joint. Drain and leave until its cool enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Carefully peel away the skin, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally to make a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat.
Place the whiskey in a pan with the maple syrup, redcurrant jelly, balsamic vinegar and ground allspice. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stud the ham with the cloves and place in a large roasting tin with a little water to prevent the bottom from catching and burning. Brush a layer of the syrup all over the ham, reserving the remainder. Cook for 1 hour, brushing over another layer of the glaze every 15 minutes, until it’s all gone. Remove the cooked ham from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Season to taste and set aside to allow the flavours to develop. To serve, carve slices from one side of the ham, cutting diagonally to achieve an even thickness. When you reach the bone, insert the knife at a flatter angle and slice across the top of the bone. Turn over the leg to carve slices from the other sides. Arrange on serving plates with spoonfuls of the pineapple salsa.
5.25kg (11lb) leg of gammon (on the bone and skin on)
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 onions, sliced
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1tbsp black peppercorns
200ml (7floz) Irish whiskey
200ml (7floz) maple syrup
2tbsp redcurrant jelly
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp ground allspice
1tsp whole cloves