How to cook the perfect Christmas ham
If meat is your thing - especially pork - then a beautifully glazed leg of ham studded with cloves or shining with a tangy, fruity glaze is a real showstopping dish for your family and friends to enjoy.
We spoke to Taste's expert food editors plus award-winning butcher Stefan Millin for their top tips so your ham will be the star of your Christmas Day feast.
Millin says glazes are the top trend of 2020, with most of his customers asking for advice on the sweet toppings and opting for a the huge 10kg full leg to dress and cook.
"People are telling me they are staying home this year to cook the big meal whereas they may have travelled interstate or even overseas for Christmas Day - there's a lot of nostalgia for traditional food like a festive leg of ham," Millin says.
"A rough guide would be about 350g a person a meal if you are having ham only."
How to prepare the perfect Christmas ham:
●For perfect presentation, use a sharp knife to cut around the ham shank, about 10cm from the end.
●Run your fingers between rind and fat to gently lift rind off in one piece. Cover leftover ham with rind to keep it fresh.
●Use a knife to score fat in a diamond pattern, 5mm deep. Stud with cloves for flavour and to hold the fat in place. Wrap shank end in foil.
Glazing your Christmas ham:
Give your ham the five-star treatment with a delicious glaze - from classic brandy and mustard ham glaze, to sticky caramel glaze or spiced cherry and balsamic glaze. For the perfect sticky, caramelised coating, brush the glaze over the ham at regular 20 minute intervals during the cooking time. Check the recipes at taste.com.au
How to cook the perfect ham:
●Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.
●Prepare your glaze.
●Place ham on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Add boiling water until it reaches 2cm up side of pan.
●Brush ham with ¼ glaze mixture. Bake, basting with mixture every 20 minutes, for 1 hour 30 minutes or until golden.
●Remove foil from shank and serve.
How to carve your Christmas ham:
To make it easy to carve your ham, place it on a flat work surface. Use a tea towel to firmly hold the shank. Make a vertical cut towards the bone, about 10cm from the shank, then make a second cut at an angle to the first. Remove the ham wedge and cut several thin slices parallel to the second cut, then carve along the bone to remove the cut slices of ham. Place the slices on serving plates to serve.
How to store your leftover Christmas ham:
So you've got a full smoked ham in the fridge and you're wondering just how many days you have to eat it all before it goes to waste. "If stored properly, your leg of ham will last for up to 10 days," says Alison Adams, one of Taste's expert food editors.
"Soak a calico ham bag - some butchers will provide you with one of these - or a clean pillowcase in a mixture of water and a large splash of vinegar. Wring it out then pop the ham inside, then re-soak every couple of days to keep it fresh. If you want to freeze your Christmas ham cut thick slices and wrap them in plastic, and then in foil. You can keep your ham slices frozen for up to a month."
How to use your Christmas ham in leftovers:
Make delicious summer recipes with your leftover Christmas ham.
●Chop and stuff into an omelette, corn fritters or frittatas.
●Combine with hard-boiled eggs, spring onions, boiled potatoes and a creamy dressing for a potato salad.
●Sautee onions and mushrooms and stir through with fresh parsley and cream to make a pot pie filling.
●Fry with leftover rice, peas, spring onion and egg for a quick fried rice.
●Make croque monsieur or madame for Boxing Day breakfast.
●Have frozen pizza bases, canned pineapple, grated cheese and pizza sauce to hand to make ham and pineapple pizzas in less time than it'd take to dial delivery.
●Use the last of the meat and bone to make a flavoursome ham and pea soup.
Originally published as How to cook the perfect Christmas ham