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How to cook Christmas ham

Follow our easy guide for how to cook a Christmas ham, coated in a sticky mustard, apricot and festively flavoured glaze. Traditionally served on Boxing Day, this tasty glistening ham is a Christmas classic that keeps on giving.


3kg unsmoked, boneless gammon joint
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

For the glaze:

3 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
10 whole cardomom pods, ground
Large punch ground allspice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp corn flour or plain flour

To garnish:

30 whole cloves


1. Add your gammon joint to a pot and add just enough water to cover then add your sugar, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves and bring to the boil.

2. Simmer for 1 hour 30 mins, skimming regularly to remove any scum. Once simmered drain your gammon and leave it to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200 Celsius, fan 180 Celsius. Remove the skin, leaving some fat behind then score a diamond pattern into the fat, being careful not to cut the flesh.

4. Combine all your glaze ingredients and thickly spread over the scored fat. Use your cloves and stud you gammon, pressing firmly into the joins between diamonds.

5. Put the joint on a rack lined with foil then add 200ml water into the bottom of your roasting tin and bake for 30 mins or until caramelised and golden. Let your gammon rest for 10 minutes before carving.

See more Christmas recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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