Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bourbon and Maple-glazed Ham

Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes, plus 5 hours simmering and roasting
Serves: 10-12

5kg smoked or unsmoked gammon on the bone/pickled pork
1 head of celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 bundle of fresh thyme
a few peppercorns
a handful of cloves
3 tblsp ground allspice
200ml maple syrup
Irish whiskey

Weigh the meat and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g plus 20 minutes extra.
Place in a large pan, pour in enough water to cover and bring to the boil.
Tip away the water, cover with more fresh water and add the celery, onion, thyme and peppercorns.
Simmer for about 4 hours (skimming scum with a slotted spoon) or until the bone at the skinny end comes away freely.
Drain and leave until cool enough to handle.

Carefully remove the skin, leaving most of the fat intact.
With a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat. The point is to decorate but also to protect the ham from the heat when it goes into the oven (if you cut into the meat it will change the fibre structure and make it tougher).

Pre-heat the oven to 180 0C. Pour enough water into a roasting tin to come 2.5cm up the sides.
Stud the ham with a clove at the junction of each diamond, then stand it on a wire rack over the water.
Make a paste from the allspice and maple syrup, then work in the bourbon.
Baste the ham with some of the paste and cook in the oven for 1 hour, basting with more paste at frequent intervals to build up a thick glaze: the water will evaporate, leaving the glaze unscorched.

Source: Christmas Made Easy edited by Mary Cadogen, BBC Books, 2006
First served for Christmas lunch, 2008.

To buy the book: Christmas Made Easy



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