Glazed ham


  • Serves 10 - 12 people

Use this master recipe as the starting point and add your choice from the glazes that follow.

  • 1 leg ham (about 7kg)
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Follow the instructions to make your choice of glaze and set aside.
02   Peel back skin from the ham, being careful not to tear the fat. Use a sharp knife to score around the shank, then detach the skin and reserve (use it to cover leftover ham to help prevent it from drying out).
03   Score the fat (not the flesh) evenly with a small sharp knife, maintaining an even depth all over. You can either score in a crisscross pattern to form diamonds or in parallel lines.
04   Place ham in a large roasting pan with a cup of water, then follow glazing and basting instructions, and bake until sticky, golden and warmed through (1-1½ hours). Rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Cherry and allspice glaze
Combine 350gm pitted cherries with 120ml maple syrup, 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar, and a pinch each of ground cloves and cardamom in a saucepan and simmer until cherries release juice, and liquid thickens slightly (20-25 minutes). Place ham in a roasting pan and cook, basting occasionally, until glazed.

Ginger beer and hot English mustard glaze
Combine 750ml ginger beer, 2 tbsp hot English mustard, 55gm (1/4 cup) brown sugar, 1 tsp finely crushed green peppercorns and a pinch of ground ginger in a saucepan over medium heat and reduce until thickened slightly (20-30 minutes). Place ham in a roasting pan, pour ginger beer mixture over it and cook, basting occasionally, until golden and warmed through.

Char siu-style glaze
Combine 160gm hoisin sauce, 120gm honey, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine, 1 tbsp fermented soy bean paste (available from Asian grocers) and ½ tsp five-spice in a bowl. Place ham in a roasting pan and baste with glaze as it roasts.

Spiced quince glaze
Stir 100gm quince paste, 60ml dry white wine, 2 tbsp apple juice, 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar and ½ tsp each ground cloves, ground cinnamon and ground allspice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until melted and smooth. Add 160gm brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Place ham in a roasting pan, brush with half the quince glaze and roast, brushing occasionally with remaining quince glaze, until sticky, golden and warmed through.

Persian apricot glaze
Finely chop rind of 1 preserved lemon and combine in a bowl with 300gm smooth apricot jam, 120gm mild-flavoured honey, juice of 1 orange and 1 tsp ras el hanout spice blend (available from select delicatessens and Middle Eastern grocers). Whisk until smooth, then brush over ham and baste occasionally as it cooks.

Brown sugar spice glaze
Combine 150gm brown sugar, 60ml (1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar, 60gm Dijon mustard, 1 tsp ground allspice, and ¼ tsp each ground cardamom and cinnamon in a bowl, rub all over scored ham, place in a roasting pan and cook, basting occasionally, until golden.

Chipotle, lime and pineapple glaze
Combine chopped flesh of ½ pineapple with the juice of 2 limes, 180gm crushed light palm sugar and 2 jarred chipotle chillies in a blender. Pound 1 cup coriander and sea salt in a mortar and pestle, then add to pineapple mixture to taste. Baste ham as it roasts.

Spiced marmalade glaze
Process 250ml freshly squeezed orange juice, 120gm marmalade, 100ml golden rum, 2 tbsp coarsely chopped thyme, 1 golden shallot, 1 garlic clove, 1 fresh bay leaf and 1 habanero chilli in a food processor until very smooth, then season to taste. Place ham in a roasting pan and baste with glaze every 20 minutes.

Kecap manis and chilli glaze
Combine 250ml kecap manis with 60ml Chinkiang vinegar (available from Asian grocers), 1 tsp each dried chilli flakes and ground star anise, 3 crushed garlic cloves, and 2 tbsp fish sauce in a bowl, then baste ham as it roasts.

Coconut nectar, tamarind and chilli glaze
Combine 200ml coconut nectar (available from health-food shops), 1 long red chilli split lengthways, finely grated rind of 2 limes and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce until slightly thickened (10-15 minutes), then add juice of 1 lime and 1 tsp tamarind concentrate (available from Asian grocers), and season to taste. Place ham in a roasting pan, pour glaze over it and roast, basting occasionally.

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