Succulent and sweet, this glazed ham is perfect for Christmas. Great for a party with leftovers the next day for sandwiches.
Put the gammon into a large casserole dish or saucepan. Add enough water just to cover the joint, along with the sugar, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves. Transfer the dish or pan to the hob and gently bring to the boil, skimming of any scum with a large spoon. Simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, then drain the ham and leave to cool a little.
Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife, leaving a good layer of fat behind. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the flesh.
Using a pestle and mortar grind the cardamom pods and then combine all the glaze ingredients, apart from the cloves, in a small bowl, and spread thickly over the scored fat. Press a single clove firmly into the criss-cross join between each scored diamond, until the ham is completely studded.
Sit the joint on a rack in a large roasting tin, lined with foil (to make the tin easier to clean afterwards). Add 200ml (1⁄3pt) water to the tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until caramelised and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before carving into thin slices. Serve.
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This meaty centrepiece is best alongside this crisp, fresh and fruity finest* Riesling.