Fully Festive Ham Recipe

Publish Date
Wednesday, 25 November 2015, 3:00PM

A succulent ham is perfect for a festive feast and can work as a terrific centrepiece right through from Christmas party season to Boxing Day to the new year. This ham recipe is full of flavour and delicious hot or cold.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours
Serves: 8-10

7 1/2 pounds ham
8 cups cranberry juice
8 cups apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks, halved
2 onions, halved but not peeled
1 tablespoon allspice berries

Cranberry Glaze:
Approximately 30 cloves
4 tablespoons cranberry jelly, or 6 tablespoons cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon English mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Put the ham into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then immediately drain and rinse it in a colander, to remove any excess saltiness. Alternatively, leave the ham soaking in cold water overnight.
  2. Rinse the saucepan and put the ham back in, and add all remaining ingredients. If the fruit juices do not cover the ham then add some water; it really depends on how snugly your ham fits into the saucepan.
  3. Bring the pan to a boil and then cook at a fast simmer for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Partially cover the ham with a lid if the liquid is boiling away too much and the top of the ham is getting dry.
  4. Once the ham is cooked, remove it from the hot and now salty juice, and sit it on a board. If you want, you can actually cook this far ahead of schedule and then let it get entirely cold before glazing and roasting it. If that's the case, then cook it for about 1/2 hour less and then just let it get cold in the cooking liquid.
  5. On the day of cooking, preheat the oven to 215 degrees C.
  6. When the ham is cool enough to touch then cut and peel the rind off the cooked ham, making sure to leave a thin coating of the white fat on the ham. Score the fat into a diamond pattern with a sharp knife, and stud the points of each diamond with a clove.
  7. Heat the remaining glaze ingredients together in a saucepan until the jelly or sauce melts into the honey, mustard, and cinnamon to make a smooth but syrupy glaze; it needs to be thick enough not to run off the ham completely as it cooks in the oven.
  8. Sit the ham on a piece of foil in a roasting tin, which will give you an easier time later washing up, as the sugary glaze will burn as bits of it do inevitably dribble down the ham. Pour the glaze over the clove studded ham so that all of the scored fat is covered. Cook the ham for 15 minutes or until the fat is colored and burnished by the sugary glaze.
  9. If the ham is completely cold prior to glazing, then cook for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C, and turn up the heat to 215 degrees C for another 15 minutes. These timings are based on the ham being cold at room temperature, not refrigerator cold.

Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson (Copyright 2004, Feast, Hyperion, All Rights Reserved)

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