Since the cured ham is quite salty, we start this recipe by boiling the ham with some veggies and spices. This removes a lot of the salt and imparts some new flavors.
The ham is finished by baking it with a honey glaze.
Boiling the Ham
- 5-6 pound cured ham (not smoked, just cured)
- 1 carrot, chopped roughly
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped roughly
- 1 leek (the white part), trimmed and chopped roughly
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
The night before, or at least 3-4 hours before cooking, put the ham in a large pot and cover with cold water. Let sit until ready to cook. Then pour off the water and refill the pot with fresh cold water.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes per pound. For a 5 pound ham, this is 2 hours and 5 minutes. For a 6 pound ham, this is 2 hours and 30 minutes. Watch the pot and be sure the ham is covered with water throughout the cooking time. Top up the pot with boiling water as needed. If you see any foam at the top, scoop it out and discard.
At the end of the cooking time, remove the ham from the pot and put it in an oven-proof dish, such as a roasting pan, fat side up. You will not be covering it, so an open pan is fine.
Some people say they keep the broth for soup. It is extremely salty though, so I just throw it all away.
Honey Glazing the Ham
- Handful of whole cloves (about 25) to stud the ham
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup Madeira wine
- 3/4 cup honey (250g if you prefer to weigh it)
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Score the fat side of the ham in diamond shapes and put a clove in the center of each diamond.
Put the sugar, vinegar, and Madeira in a small pan and bring to a boil (watching carefully so it does not boil over). Add the honey, bring to a boil again, and remove from heat.
Pour 1/2 the glaze over the fat of the ham, put in the hot oven, and roast for 15 minutes. Pour the rest of the glaze over the ham, and return it to the oven for about 35 minutes. Baste the glaze over the ham about every 9 minutes. Turn the pan around 1/2 way through so it browns evenly.
Keep an eye on the ham; it should turn a lovely reddish brown color. Any darker is over done, so you should remove the ham from the oven before it gets dark. (My picture above shows a somewhat overcooked glaze.) Note that boiling has already cooked the ham, so you are just using the oven to glaze the ham. When the glaze is ready, it is done.
Remove the ham from the oven, put on a serving plate, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
In the roasting pan, whisk together the honey glaze and pan drippings. Pour it into a bowl and serve on the side. (The honey glaze should be a thick liquid. I have had it turn into almost a candy consistency. In that case, it does not make a good side! Just put the pan in the sink, put really hot water in it, and let it sit during dinner so you can clean it later.)
Cooked ham can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days. If you do not use it all by then, you can freeze the leftovers for another day.