There are many things to consider when planning to have a Ham for Christmas or any other special event..
- How many people are you feeding?
- What other meat will you serve?
- Do you want the Ham hot or cold or warm?
- Will a big enough ham fit in your oven (or BBQ)?
- Do you have refrigerator space?
- Will it be carved in front of the guests?
- Is it to be a centre-piece in a buffet?
- Do you have a Ham stand, carving dish or platter big enough?
Now the fun begins – glazing a ham has several steps and before you go any further you need to decide on the glaze you will use and how you plan to decorate the ham.
The Glaze adds flavour and colour to the ham and should include something sweet or syrupy to get a sticky gloss as well as something sharp to add contrast to the sweetmess. Sour and spicy can also add interest – dont add any salt as the Ham is already salty.
Ideas for the glaze
- Lime, Rum, Mustard & Brown Sugar
- Chilli, Lime & Palm Sugar (and perhaps some Tequila)
- Marmalade, Whiskey & Mustard
- Maple Syrup and Mustard
- Orange Juice, Honey and Mixed Spices
- Apricot Nectar, Cinnamon & Ginger (or Ginger Wine)
- Brown Sugar, Pineapple Juice & Cracked Pepper
The decorations should compliment the flavours in the glaze, look amazing and not hinder the carving process. Decorations can be added before glazing, during the baking process or once the ham is cooked. Note in these pictures how over cooked decorations do not look as appealing.
Once you have established you basics you can go shopping for a ham. If you are after a statement ham get a full leg, on the bone, as big as suits your needs. If it is not required as a flashy show piece you can do a perfectly nice glazed ham using a pressed ham roll. Half legs and champagne hams are also good for smaller events. When shopping for the Ham you should also get your glaze and garnish ingredients.
- Using a sharp knife, score a zig-zag pattern around shank end of ham.
- Starting at the bottom of ham, slide your fingers under the skin and work them up between skin and fat, loosening the skin as you go.
- When you reach the scored shank end, gently pull skin back in one piece and discard.
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Using a sharp knife, trim fat layer, so that fat is no more than 5mm deep.
- Score a shallow diamond pattern in fat, at 1.5cm intervals, without cutting into meat.
- Stud each diamond with a clove or other garnish as desired.
- Place ham, preferably on a rack, in a large roasting pan lined with foil – this makes cleaning up so much easier.
- Combine all ingredients, to a thickish paste, in a small bowl. Brush thickly over ham.
- Bake ham for 45 minutes, basting with juices occasionally.
- Decorate if desired at this stage, continue to baste occasionally for remainder of time recommended for the size of the Ham (see note below)
- Complete decorations now to serve hot….or finish decorating once cooled
NOTE – Follow the storage and cooking directions on the Ham packaging…. pay particular attention to cooling and cold storage as the last thing you want is to make a whole heap of people sick
Carving the Ham is no big drama – carve towards the bone!!!