Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hamming it up

Well in my previous post, I talked about turkey, not done the traditional way. :-)

Today, I'm going to talk about ham, done the traditional way :-) but with a super delicious glaze (which is not so traditional after all *grin*). Plus I love ham in all it's various incarnations - ham and cheese croissant, ham and cheese sandwich, sliced ham on it's own, honey baked sliced ham, ham off the bone ... you name it, I'm a ham lover, so I'm super excited about this post.

The only thing I would say in warning about ham is to make sure that it is not too large, so that it fits into your oven. Of course, if you have a super large oven, then you can have a super large ham, but if you're like me and have a dinky oven, just be mindful of the size of the ham. I always like a super big ham, but I'm constrained by the size of my oven. Argh!

Anyhow, enough of the chit chat ... on to the ham ...

Preparing the ham:

  • 1 leg of ham
  • 20 - 30 whole cloves
  • Ham glaze (I'll put the RECIPE below)

  • Take the leg of ham out of the fridge and let it warm to room temperature
  • Remove the skin off the ham but leave the layer of fat using a ham slicing knife
  • Using a paring knife or a chef's knife if you prefer, lighting cut into the fat of the ham to create a cross-hatch pattern in about 1.5cm diamonds
  • Using whole cloves, stick them into the diamonds on the fat of the ham, scattering them evenly around the surface of the ham
  • Once the cloves are in, turn the oven onto 180dC
  • Place the ham into a roasting pan
  • Pour all of the glaze over the ham, making sure that it's evenly coated all over the ham
  • Put the ham into the oven and roast for 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the size of the ham. You want the ham to cook through to about 65dC, so use a meat thermometer and check the core temp of your ham before removing it from the oven
  • When your ham is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes, carve and serve

RECIPE for the glaze:

  • 250g mango chutney
  • 75g dijon mustard
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 250ml orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Bunch of cloves

  • Mix all ingredients throughly together

And that's it. That's how you make a rather yummy Christmas ham. Of course, it doesn't have to be Christmas for you to enjoy a ham. You can always get a smaller leg to cook for just everyday use. A leg of ham usually keeps quite well in the fridge wrapped up in some paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. You can get a good 10 days out of the ham that way, I have found. Much better staying power than sliced ham from the deli.

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