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Too Much Ham

Asked by lillygirl. Answered on 29th December 2010

Full question

Hi, I was planning on making the Aromatic Spiced Ham from the Christmas special, which calls for an approximately 3kg ham. My husband, in a fit of optimism (when ham was on sale), bought a 15kg full ham leg, and froze it. Now I have significantly more ham then I need. Should I just cut off what I need once it has thawed? What do I do with the rest, as I can not refreeze it? (besides make every Nigella ham recipe)

Our answer

If you have thawed a ham then you will need to cook it within 2 days. The whole leg of ham is very large and if possible it would be wise to try and cut the leg into two smaller hams (possibly through a knee joint) or you will need a very large saucepan. Once the ham has been cooked the US FDA suggests that it will keep for 3 to 5 days in the fridge.

To cook a ham you usually need to allow a simmering time of around 40 minutes per kg (18 minutes per pound) but if it is a very large ham over 5kg (11 pounds) then this cooking time can be reduced to 30-35 minutes per kg (15 minutes per pound). Check the ham is cooked though by testing with a meat thermometer (instant read thermometer) which should read around 75c (165F). You can then remove the ham from the pot, cut away the skin and glaze as per your chosen recipe.

Leftover cooked ham is wonderful in sandwiches and Nigella would also suggest Ham and Leek Pies, Ham and Leek Pasties and Ham and Soya Bean Salad from KITCHEN (p372-375). Leftover cooked ham can also be frozen for up to 2 months, wrapped tightly in foil packages and then put into freezer bags. If you like you can also interleave the slices of ham with greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchment paper) to reduce the risk of the ham drying out.

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