How to cook the perfect Christmas ham

Rosemary Shrager shares her top tips


How to Make Honey Roast Christmas Ham

Christmas wouldn't be the same without a classic whole roast ham. Here, Rosemary Shrager shares her recipe and top tips for cooking perfect pork.

Place the ham in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 peeled onions, 4 sticks of celery, 3 star anise, 4 carrots, 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds and 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns and sprigs of parsley.

"You can't have too many bay leaves, so feel free to add lots. Be careful with the star anise, this has quite a strong flavour so you don't need much," says Rosemary.

Bring up to the simmer and cook for 3 hours approximately. "It's better to have meat cooked slowly and gently. Bring up to simmer and turn down for three hours. I allow 20 minutes per 500g. You can tell when the ham is cooked when the rind starts coming off easily," adds Rosemary.

Remove the ham from the saucepan and allow to rest for one hour. While the ham is still warm, remove the rind, leaving as much fat on as possible.

Score the fat into diamond shapes by cutting a long line one way, then the other way, then insert a clove into each diamond corner.

Once you've done that it's time to baste the ham with the marinade. To make this, mix 350g brown sugar, 200ml thick honey and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Use a pastry brush to spread the mixture all over the ham.

Bake in a pre-heated oven set at 180°C /Gas mark 4 for 25 minutes approximately or until caramelized. You will need to baste the ham every ten minutes, to get a good, dark colour.

• 6kg Gammon
• 2 onions
• 2 carrots
• 4 bay leaves
• 3 star anise
• 1 tbsp of black pepper corns
• 1 tbsp coriander seeds
• Few sprigs of parsley
• Few sticks of celery

For the glaze
• Approx 150 cloves
• 450g soft dark brown sugar
• 300ml thick runny honey
• 1tbsp Dijon mustard

Three gadgets to make life easier in the kitchen:

KitchenOriginals by Kalorik family-size pie maker, £39.99

Andre James 1.5Ltr slow cooker, £14.99

Joseph Joseph rotary peeler, £13.50

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