Orange, Clove & Ginger Leg of Ham

Christmas Dinner Recipes

There is a lot of ham confusion around. I guess it's because each country has a different way of preparing ham. In Australia, most hams come fully cooked and cured and all they need is a bit of glazing and heating up (that is, if you want to eat it hot, you can of course eat it cold). Some other countries recommend boiling a ham and I'm not quite sure why (if you know, please enlighten us -thank you :)).

The keys to a beautiful, glistening Christmas ham are firstly in the glaze that you use-it can be as easy as a slightly watered down marmalade or you can make your own which isn't that much more effort really. Below is a super easy but delicious one involving orange juice, cloves, ginger and a touch of marmalade. Also use a quality ham which is pretty obvious to say. I used a ham that was triple smoked - although more expensive and almost double the price it produced such a beautiful ham and Alistair carved it expertly.

Christmas Dinner Recipes

The other important thing that I learned through trial and error is the way you remove the rind. I started by slicing off the rind with a knife figuring that the extra fat that I would remove could only be a good thing (I know, what was I thinking? So not me ;) ). I cut half the ham this way and then I turned it around and realised that I could just rip the rind off leaving a fluffy looking uneven layer of fat. The side where the rind was ripped off really took to the glaze beautifully whereas when it was cut, it barely caramelised.

Christmas Dinner Recipes

But given those three things, a ham is the easiest thing you can serve for Christmas dinner. Plus it looks rather special!

Orange, Clove & Ginger Leg of Ham

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • 5.5kg/12lb. cooked and cured leg of ham (we will just be heating it as they are fully cooked)
  • 3/4 cup/185ml/6.5flozs orange juice (juice of about 3 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup/80g/2.8ozs honey
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves, ground plus more for studding

Christmas Dinner Recipes

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 240C/474F. In a saucepan mix the orange juice, honey, ginger, marmalade, mustard and ground cloves. Heat for a couple of minutes, you don't want it too thick and certainly not jam-like. Remove rind from the ham by using a sharp knife just to start the cut and then pull back the rind. It will result in a "fluffy" uneven looking fat rather than smooth fat layer and this allows the glaze to stick beautifully. Cut a diamond shaped pattern and place over a pan of water.

Step 2 - Brush with half of the glaze and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce the heat to 200C/400F and paint the remaining glaze and add orange slices and cloves and bake for another 20 minutes for a 5.5 kilo/12lb ham.

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