Perfect Christmas ham

    2 hours 40 min

    This perfect Christmas ham recipe will delight the whole family on Christmas day. Tried and tested many times over the years this is my family's foolproof recipe for a stunning Christmas ham. This ham is also fabulous for days afterwards for cold lunch leftovers and sandwiches.


    Hampshire, England, UK
    79 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • For the ham
    • 1.7kg gammon joint
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • 3 dried juniper berries, halved
    • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • the juice of 1/2 orange
    • 1/2 orange, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon allspice
    • For the glaze
    • 180g dark brown sugar
    • whole cloves, as needed
    • 2 tablespoons marmalade
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • ground black pepper, to taste

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Extra time:10min resting  ›  Ready in:2hr40min 

      For the ham:

    1. Take the ham out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Place the joint in a large saucepan of cold water for 20 minutes, then rinse.
    2. Place the ham back in the pan and add just enough water to cover. Add the herbs and spices to the pan.
    3. Cook the ham covered on a very gentle heat for 90 minutes until the internal temperature of the ham is 68C. Remove from the pan and allow to cool just slightly.
    4. Very carefully, peel off the skin and discard. Keep as much of the fat on as possible.
    5. Without digging into the meat, score the fat into diamond shapes.
    6. Insert a whole clove at each intersection.
    7. Place the ham onto a foil lined roasting pan, or on a trivet over a cast iron pan. Add a little water to the pan to prevent burning.
    8. Preheat the oven to 230 C / Gas 8.
    9. To make the glaze:

    10. Combine all of the ingredients to make the glaze into a small saucepan, keeping back about a third of the sugar for sprinkling. Gently melt the glaze until it becomes a thick paste. Using a brush, rub the glaze gently onto the fat.
    11. The fat should be fully covered in the glaze.
    12. Bake in the hot preheated oven for 25 minutes, basting twice during that time. Each time you baste add a sprinkling of sugar. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    great step by step photos, thank u  -  09 Dec 2015


    Oven temp was too high so reduced but already burnt. Sprinkling sugar didn't seem to caramelize, possibly because already burnt on top. Tastes great though.  -  31 Dec 2017


    This recipe was very easy to follow and so tasty. I could not find the juniper berries but dont think that made any difference. My first attempt at making my own ham - the whole family enjoyed it.  -  27 Dec 2017