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It’s almost Christmas! And Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a lovely ham now, would it? I’m always a little unsure about whether to boil or bake a ham; with boiling you get to infuse it with a yummy flavour, but roasting gives you a drier texture, which I definitely prefer.

This recipe, which is adapted from Nigella’s Christmas (which, by the way, I would seriously recommend as a great Xmas food book) goes for a combination of boiling, to infuse the ham with gingery goodness and roasting, to dry it out and set the lovely marmalade glaze. It’s really easy to do, but takes a while.

Marmalade-Glazed Ginger Ham – Serves about 10, at least

  • 2.5kg unsmoked gammon joint
  • 2 bottles American ginger ale
  • Half a standard jar of marmalade
  • 2 heaped teaspoons English mustard
  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

First boil the ham in ginger ale – put the ham in a large enough pan (we used a jam pan), pour in the ale and add enough water so that it is covered. You will need to keep it topped up throughout the cooking time. Leave to boil away for 2 and a half hours (generally, it’s half an hour per half kilo of ham).

Meanwhile, mix together well all of the glaze ingredients. Once the ham is cooked, heave it out of the pan (easier said than done!), cut off the skin leaving a thin layer of fat and cover with the glaze.

Roast in a pre-heated oven at 215 degrees c for about 35 mins, or until the glaze is getting nice and caramalised and crispy at the edges. Leave to cool slightly and slice, or complete cool and serve cold.

We still have some leftovers from our mega-ham, what do you suggest doing with them? I normally like a chicken and ham pie, but this ham is quite strongly flavoured and so it might not work. I think Tom has his eyes on it for a tray-load of sandwiches though….

Also this week: Getting ready for Christmas with a vatfull of mulled wine, Carolling on our street tomorrow, Christmas spin class this morning (!!) and some more house decorating. My mum got me this really cute Alessi nativity scene, isn’t it amazing!