Love a baked ham on Christmas Day? A studded ham on Christmas Day makes a great buffet centrepiece. Here’s our guide on how to prepare the ham, and a recipe for a simple ham glaze.
PREPARING A HAM
Order a ham from your favourite butcher. It is pretty hard to get one smaller than about 5–6 kilograms / 10lbs. Doesn’t matter if you only have a few guests on Christmas Day, you’ll keep eating well after Christmas, and you can always slice it and then freeze it for use later down the track.
You will also need a packet of cloves, a sharp knife, a large roasting tray, some muslin or fabric for the bone, and some string or ribbon to tie the fabric with.
- Take your ham and score it around the leg bone near the top. Then using your hands, separate the skin from the fat, and gently peel back the skin. The skin should come off in one piece.
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the fat only a few millimetres deep by making diagonal lines down the length, keeping each line 2cm/1″ apart. Then turn the ham and score the ham in the other direction in lines to create the diamond pattern. If you score the fat too deeply it will expose the flesh and dry out the ham in the cooking.
- Stud the ham in the centre of each diamond with a clove (see image below), and then cover the ham in a muslin cloth or ham bag until you are ready to cook the ham. This can be done a day in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC / 350ºF / Gas mark 4. Make the glaze while the oven is heating up.
- Baste the ham (see glaze recipe below), then place the ham in the roasting tray. Cook for 1.5–2 hours, basting the ham every 20 minutes. Remember that your ham is already cooked, so the purpose is simply to heat the ham through and have a glaze. If the ham starts getting too dark too early, turn the oven off and leave in the oven until ready to serve.
- Remove from the oven, and transfer to a chopping board ready for carving at the buffet. Wrap the bone with muslin or other fabric or even some nice paper, then tie with a ribbon or string to give you a nice handle to hold while carving.
- Look for a YouTube video to see the best way to carve a ham.
- Serve with a range of condiments (including any for other meat on offer), such as mustards, chutneys (fruit or tomato), pickles or tahini dressing, and bread rolls.
- 2 cups of orange juice
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 2-star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- Bring the orange juice to the boil and simmer until it reduces by half.
- Add in Dijon mustard, star anise, cinnamon and brown sugar bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.
- Baste ham every 20 minutes.
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