I can feel Christmas when I go to our local supermarket and see piles of huge hams - they weight usually around 15-20 kg - not sure if we could fit anything like that in our oven, but we got smaller 3 kg lovely piece and decided to make a special Christmas roast recipe. Here is few things you should look for when searching for perfect ham:

  • find a nicely shaped ham - short and stumpy ham looks more appealing,
  • make sure it has bright pink colour,
  • hams from female pigs are sweeter and have a finer grain,
  • there should be fat on the ham - otherwise after roasting it will be drier,
  • leg ham on the bone is by far the best, it will retain moisture when its cooked, boneless ham on the contrary is easier for carving,
  • make sure the packaging is tight.

Original recipe calls for on the bone ham, however we used formed from different cuts one, to preserve nice shape we tied it tight with a string. Than after cooking removed it and continued roasting with a glaze in the oven. It can be served hot or cold - hot for festive dinner, cold for sandwiches or salads. It tastes amazing and I definitely recommend it for you to make it this Christmas!

Apricot and ginger ham

  • 3kg raw unsmoked ham 
  • 2 litre bottle ginger beer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 30 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250g apricot conserve

If your ham needs soaking, do this the day before cooking - place in a large pot and cover with cold water and leave to soak for 24 hours. Pour away the soaking water and rinse the pot. Return the ham to the pot and add the ginger beer, bay leaves, allspice, peppercorns and 6 of the cloves. Top up the liquid with enough water to cover the ham, put over the medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, than cover with a  lid. Leave to cook for 2,5 hours, topping up with water as it cooks. 

Heat oven to 200°C. When the ham is cool enough to handle, discard the cooking liquid and pat the ham dry. Use a small sharp knife to pare rind away from the ham, leaving a layer of fat attached to the meat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and stud all over with the remaining cloves. Put the ham in a roasting tin. Mix togather the ginger and jam and brush the mixture over the ham. Roast for 40 minutes until golden and glistening. Serve hot or cold. 

Recipe comes from BBC Food Magazine.