There’s no absolute need to have a Christmas ham, but there are few sights more seasonally cheering. I like to have some of the sweet, salty pink meat carved, and some still gorgeously whole, as a joint, on a wooden board. Obviously, it is fabulous hot, too.
My mother routinely baked a ham to go with the turkey on Christmas Day but, given all the vegetables and bits and pieces that need to be seen to, I think that is making life hard on yourself. I prefer to bake my ham for Christmas Eve – and it does make for the perfect cross-generational supper or lunch. I’ve got three hams for you – Ginger-Glazed Ham, with its seasonal spicing, Ham In Cola, and Slow-Cooked Black Treacle Ham - the choice is yours. To go with, I’d suggest Macaroni Cheese or Red Leicester Cauliflower Cheese or Make-Ahead Mash, and with some Spiced Peaches on the side. And for dessert, it has to be Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake.
And the bonus with these hams is that even if you were to invite a crowd, you can be sure you can count on leftovers. This is absolutely fine by me. I wouldn’t mind some cold slices served with any leftover Redder Than Red Cranberry Sauce and Bread Sauce. Fig and Olive Chutney or Jumbo Chilli Sauce would also be welcome additions. And I don’t think you could go wrong with my Pasta With Ham, Peas and Cream – a hit with both adults and children alike.