Glazed Ham

December 22, 2009


Glazed Ham

Olive Magazine asked me to ‘challenge Gordon’ in their December issue, with a Christmas recipe of my choosing; I went for the glazed ham. A reader and their mates then tested both his recipe and mine and decided on a winner.

The idea of a straight ‘glaze-off’ seemed a bit dull and predictable so I decided to mix things up by using the cola method, which I’ve tried before and loved. The ham is covered and bubbled in the syrupy liquor, resulting in a ham infused with an addictive spicy caramel sweetness, helped along a bit by a couple of star anise and the humble onion. I kept the glaze simple with marmalade (zesty bits essential) and teeny hints of ginger and cinnamon. The cola makes the edges caramelise to a sticky, tooth-tacky sheen . And that’s what it’s all about. I burnt my fingers several times trying to pull off the edge bits.

It was a dead heat between mine and Ramsay’s ham, by the way. I can’t say I wasn’t hugely relieved not to lose. I bet he’s quaking in his sweary little boots…

Sweet and Spiced Glazed Ham

1 x 2kg mild-cure gammon
1 x 2litre bottle of cola
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 star anise

For the glaze

Cloves, for studding
225g marmalade (with zesty bits if possible)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Bring the gammon up to room temperature, then put it in a large pan, skin side down, add the onion and star anise and cover with the cola. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and rest the lid on top so that it is not fully sealed. Let bubble for about 2 1/4 hours.

Discard the cooking liquid, remove the ham to a plate and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to gas 7/210 C. Remove the skin from the ham, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern and push a clove into the point of each diamond.

To make the glaze, put all the ingredients into a pan and let it bubble up to the boil then simmer for a few minutes until syrupy.

Brush the glaze all over the ham and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the ham, brush on some more glaze and bake for a further 10 minutes. If you do this more often then the outside will be even stickier. If you want to let the ham cool and then glaze it the next day, it will need longer in the oven – about 30 to 40 minutes.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Anna December 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Hurrah, what a timely post – I’ve got a ham in the fridge at the moment and I was trying to decide on my glaze. I shall give this a try. Thanks Helen!

  • Avatar
    Reply David Hall December 22, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Merry Christmas Helen, all the best for 2010

    David x

  • Avatar
    Reply Jonathan December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Take that Gordon. I love glazed ham… what would you suggest serving it with?

  • Avatar
    Reply Lizzie December 22, 2009 at 10:00 am

    We often do our Christmas ham very traditionally – simmered for hours, and then glazed with mustard. I will try and convince Pops to do it this way, as it looks delicious.

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  • Avatar
    Reply catty December 22, 2009 at 10:08 am

    oh my lord that first photo had me drooling on my laptop! YUM! love the idea of cola as well, i can see how that would work. I bet yours was way better than Gordon’s 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply Fiona Beckett December 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I did a ham with a similar glaze at the weekend but cooked it in cider rather than cola and mixed the marmalade with English mustard and ginger. Sooo Christmassy.

    Well done drawing with Gordon. (Suspect you’d have won but I seem to remember he got beaten last time so they probably thought he needed a break!)

  • Avatar
    Reply Discover Unearthed December 22, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Looks fantastic – would it be wrong to just eat the glaze?! I’ll serve with a glass of coke.

  • Avatar
    Reply Claire December 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    This looks fab, ginger beer also works really well for that sweet stickiness with a hint of spice.

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    Reply Peter December 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Helen, I would pick your ham…food always tastes better when made from charming people. 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply bellini valli December 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Have a wonderful holiday season Helen. Your kitchen will be full of successes and your heart filled with peace and joy.

  • Avatar
    Reply Maninas December 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Congratulations on beating Ramsay! 😀

    And happy Christmas!

  • Avatar
    Reply gastrogeek December 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    brilliant you beat big sweary! Do you reckon a similar recipe might work with cherry cola and lamb ribs?

  • Avatar
    Reply The Graphic Foodie December 22, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Ding dong! Looks wonderful. Saw this in Olive and liked the look of yours more – sorry Gordo.

    Like Claires suggestion of ginger beer.

  • Avatar
    Reply Christie @ Fig&Cherry December 23, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Good on you Helen! I’d be so nervous going up against old Gordon.

    Merry Christmas, hope you have a great one.

  • Avatar
    Reply Y December 23, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Eyes just glazed over dreamily at sight of superior glazed ham….

  • Avatar
    Reply Niamh December 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Nice! Can’t beat a glazed ham.

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    Reply ginandcrumpets December 24, 2009 at 10:47 am

    The ham that marked the beginning of the end for Ramsay. Looks delicious Helen. Merry Christmas!

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen December 24, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Hello all and thank you for your kind comments. Apologies for my tardy response – been very busy in the Christmas kitchen!

    In answer to your questions…

    Jonathan – Well I can think of nothing better than the cold collation! Pickles, cheese, bread etc… and of course, there is the duh duh duuuuh – SANDWICH!

    Discover Unearthed – no! that is all…

    Happy Christmas all!

  • Avatar
    Reply The London Foodie December 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    What a fantastic posting, that ham looks so utterly delicious I am drowning in my own saliva here! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  • Avatar
    Reply Cynthia December 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm


    Happy Holidays!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jeanne @ Cooksister! January 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    What a thing of true beauty! I do love a glazed ham but have never tried the famous cola method – definitely want to give it a go this year!

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    Reply Lola December 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I used it last year for the Christmas ham and it was lovely. I wanted to do it again this year, but in the meantime I’d had a ruthless clear out and had chucked the Olive issue with this recipe in. Lifesaver.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ros December 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Sounds amazing. Could I boil ham night before and glaze etcc next day. I am pushed for time.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen December 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Hi Ros, yes there are instructions for that at the end of the recipe.

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