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Ginger-Glazed Ham

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
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Introduction

You can adapt this freely, depending on the number of people you want to feed at the first sitting (I did this for 11 adults and 6 children last year) and how many days you want to eke it out for afterwards. But what is important, given that this is probably the most labour-intensive time of year in the kitchen, is that this dispenses with any fiddly steps. The gammon is simply simmered in ginger ale and, although you need to strip off the rind to glaze it, the glaze is straightforward.

It won’t give that same crowning effect, but if you cannot get hold of ginger preserve, you could use ordinary orange marmalade and add a teaspoon of ground dried ginger or, indeed, grated fresh, as you heat it up.

You can adapt this freely, depending on the number of people you want to feed at the first sitting (I did this for 11 adults and 6 children last year) and how many days you want to eke it out for afterwards. But what is important, given that this is probably the most labour-intensive time of year in the kitchen, is that this dispenses with any fiddly steps. The gammon is simply simmered in ginger ale and, although you need to strip off the rind to glaze it, the glaze is straightforward.

It won’t give that same crowning effect, but if you cannot get hold of ginger preserve, you could use ordinary orange marmalade and add a teaspoon of ground dried ginger or, indeed, grated fresh, as you heat it up.

Ginger-Glazed Ham
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 10

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 5½ kilograms mild-cure boneless gammon joint
  • 6 litres dry ginger ale
  • 350 grams chunky ginger preserve (or orange marmalade)
  • 2 tablespoons hot english mustard
  • 100 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12½ pounds cured but uncooked ham
  • 6 litres dry ginger ale
  • 1 cup chunky ginger preserve (or orange marmalade)
  • 2 tablespoons hot english mustard
  • ½ cup soft dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Method

  1. Place the joint in a large pan over the hob and pour the dry ginger ale over it, topping up with water so the ham is just about covered with liquid.
  2. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to keep the joint bubbling gently for 3½ hours.
  3. Towards the end of cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF and start on the glaze.
  4. Put the chunky ginger preserve (or marmalade) into a small bowl, and spoon in the hot English mustard. Add the soft, dark brown sugar, sprinkle in the ground cloves and stir to mix.
  5. After the ham has had its 3½ hours (and check that it’s ready by inserting a meat thermometer – it should read 71°C/160ºF), gently lift it out of the pan – no mean feat – and place in a foil-lined roasting tin. Carefully cut away the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. There is no need to score the surface, simply slap on the glaze and place in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a carving board where it can be admired before being carved as thinly as possible; I try to get someone else to do this.
  1. Place the joint in a large pan over the hob and pour the dry ginger ale over it, topping up with water so the ham is just about covered with liquid.
  2. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to keep the joint bubbling gently for 3½ hours.
  3. Towards the end of cooking, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF and start on the glaze.
  4. Put the chunky ginger preserve (or marmalade) into a small bowl, and spoon in the hot English mustard. Add the soft, dark brown sugar, sprinkle in the ground cloves and stir to mix.
  5. After the ham has had its 3½ hours (and check that it’s ready by inserting a meat thermometer – it should read 71°C/160ºF), gently lift it out of the pan – no mean feat – and place in a foil-lined roasting tin. Carefully cut away the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. There is no need to score the surface, simply slap on the glaze and place in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a carving board where it can be admired before being carved as thinly as possible; I try to get someone else to do this.

Additional Information

For gluten free replace the English mustard with a gluten free mustard, such as Dijon.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: About 6 hours before serving, cook the ham for 3 hours only, take the pan off the heat, remove the rind and return the ham to the hot liquid. Set aside in a cool place for about 3 hours. One hour before serving, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF. Put the ham in a shallow, foil-lined roasting tin, cover with a tent of foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then glaze and return to the oven for 20–30 minutes or until golden and burnished.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Any leftover ham can be thinly sliced, wrapped in a double layer of foil, or put into a sealable bag, and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

For gluten free replace the English mustard with a gluten free mustard, such as Dijon.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: About 6 hours before serving, cook the ham for 3 hours only, take the pan off the heat, remove the rind and return the ham to the hot liquid. Set aside in a cool place for about 3 hours. One hour before serving, preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF. Put the ham in a shallow, foil-lined roasting tin, cover with a tent of foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then glaze and return to the oven for 20–30 minutes or until golden and burnished.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Any leftover ham can be thinly sliced, wrapped in a double layer of foil, or put into a sealable bag, and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Tell us what you think

What 10 Others have said

  • I only have a 2kg ham. How does that change cooking time?

    Posted by izik21 on 15th December 2011
  • Love the recipe AND the glaze! This is my yearly Easter recipe use this every year for our ham. TY Nigella! :)

    Posted by glo146 on 28th March 2015
  • I made this ginger ham for Thanksgiving years ago. All our friends look forward to ginger ham each Holiday season now. It is amazingly, delicious and always a big hit for Christmas. Love it!

    Posted by Markemark on 27th November 2014
  • My ham was already cooked however I did use the ginger ale to eh eat it through for an hour or so then glazed. I loved the ginger flavours.

    Posted by Raywend on 26th December 2013
  • Christmas is not the same without Ginger Glazed Ham. My family and guest LOVE it and always look for it on the buffet table on Christmas Eve onwards.

    Posted by Bon07 on 11th December 2013
  • Cannot wait to try this, have always done nigella' s ham in coca cola, swear by it, ginger ale will be completely different #nigella x

    Posted by Gertrude31 on 10th December 2013
  • You are my new favourite person Nigella. This recipe is inexpensive to make and delicious. x

    Posted by rachael-smith on 5th November 2013
  • This glaze is so delicious! I used orange marmalade and added ginger to it. The ham was already cooked, so I just heated the glaze and poured it on the ham. I also made the spiced peaches. This is such a wonderful combination for Christmas Eve! Thanks Nigella.

    Posted by Lori J on 25th December 2012
  • This is our Christmas dinner main course every year. Everyone always raves about it. It is ease itself to make and tastes like a dream. Be sure to make up a second batch of the glaze, people always want more to dip in!

    Posted by jtviles on 12th April 2012
  • You are a Genius! This is the best ham I have ever had!!!

    Posted by shaunstruik on 13th December 2011
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