Thanks to eatlove, we’re making Christmas easy with Matthew Evans’s recipe for baked ham. It’s from his book The Gourmet Farmer, published by Murdoch Books.
Good ham, made the old-fashioned way, where it’s hung for a bit after curing, and not pumped full of binding agents to absorb water, is best soaked overnight before baking. If you buy a cheaper style ham with a binding agent, you probably want to cook the water out rather than soak it first.
Ingredients (serves 16)
6kg whole classic smoked English-style leg ham, skin scored deeply into the fat in diamonds
2 x 750ml bottles of dry cider
6 pieces of blade mace
100g of soft brown sugar
300g Seville orange marmalade
½ tsp of mustard powder
Take the ham and soak it in a cider-flavoured stock overnight – use 1 bottle of the cider and enough water to cover (don’t worry if the hock isn’t completely under the water).
Remove the ham from the brine the next day and place in a deep roasting tin. Discard the soaking liquid (you could actually boil it down to add to the baste if you have the time and energy).
Preheat the oven to 150C. Bring the remaining cider to the boil in a saucepan with the mace, sugar and marmalade. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the mustard powder. Pour over the ham and cook in the oven for 2 hours, basting regularly with the juices from the tin. You may want to start the process with the ham covered to keep it moist, then remove the foil or lid for the last hour of cooking.
When the ham has warmed through (test the temperature next to the bone, it needs to be 70C) and the marinade has started to thicken it is done; you can speed up the process by draining the juices from the tin and reducing them in a pan until thick and syrupy – if your roasting tin is the type that can stand some heat do it in the tin on the stovetop.