Apple and bourbon roast smoked ham
- November 2014
- Serves 18-20
- Hands-on 25 min, simmering 2½-3 hours, oven 25-30 min, plus soaking and resting
This roast ham recipe is a wonderful addition at Christmas time and a good alternative to your typical Sunday roast.
Get organised with more make-ahead Christmas recipes.
- 9.8g (3.8g saturated)
- 1.4g (1.2g sugars)
- 4-4.5kg free-range British smoked gammon (ask for the lower leg end), soaked overnight in a large pan of cold water (see tips)
- 2 star anise
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Generous grating nutmeg
- 2 litres apple juice
- Vegetable oil for greasing
For the glaze
- 50ml bourbon
- 185g apple jam/sauce
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- Put the gammon, star anise, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and nutmeg in a deep, heavy-based pan large enough to hold the ham with ample space around it. Pour the apple juice over the ham, then add cold water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer (so the water is barely bubbling), then cook for 2½-3 hours until the ham reaches 65°C when probed in the thickest part with a digital thermometer. If you don’t have a digital thermometer, make sure the ham is hot all the way through – pierce with a skewer and hold to your wrist. It should feel hot rather than warm. As the ham cooks, skim off any scum from the top of the liquid using a slotted spoon.
- Lift the ham out of the cooking water (see tips), put on a board and cool completely. You can now chill or freeze it (see Make Ahead).
- On the day you’re going to serve it, bring the ham to room temperature (see Make Ahead). Using a sharp knife, cut the skin away from the ham, leaving as much fat as possible. Score the fat into a diamond pattern.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. For the glaze, mix the bourbon with the apple jam or sauce and sugar in a small, heavy-based pan and cook over a medium heat until reduced to a sticky glaze. Brush the glaze thickly all over the surface of the ham.
- Transfer the ham to a roasting tin double-lined with lightly oiled foil and roast for 25-30 minutes (see Make Ahead), basting with the glaze in the tin once or twice and turning it as it browns. When the ham is glossy and sticky on top, remove from the oven, allow to stand for 20-30 minutes, then slice to serve at room temperature.
We recommend using a digital probe thermometer. Some hams don’t need soaking, but if it has a strong cure (it’ll have a strong, smoky bacon aroma) it should be soaked. Ask your butcher what they recommend. If in doubt, soak – you don’t want an overly salty ham. Soak for 24 hours and change the water halfway through. You may need help lifting the ham out of the pan after simmering. Use two carving forks to pincer it, then lift it from below elbow height.
Find out how to skin and glaze a ham below…
Prepare the ham up to the end of step 2 up to 48 hours in advance of cutting off the skin, scoring and glazing. Keep the cooled ham wrapped in cling film in the fridge, then take out of the fridge at least 2 hours before finishing the recipe from step 3.
Freeze the cooked, cooled, unglazed ham for up to 3 months, wrapped in cling film and foil. Defrost to room temperature, then finish the recipe from step 3.
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