Pineapple Glazed Ham

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert

This pineapple ham is, if I can be immodest, a really beautiful, glistening ham to put on the table for Christmas. In this case I used a 10kg/22lb whole leg ham from Sunshine Meats but feel free to do this as a half ham or a ball ham, it still looks spectacular. The key to this is preparing the pineapple which you can do a couple of days ahead. Even if your pineapples are just starting to turn yellow it will be fine.

Pineapples, like avocadoes, I find it so hard to time pineapples to eat them when they are just ripe and even when I bought mine a few days ahead they hadn't ripened considerably. You will end up thinly slicing the pineapple with a mandolin and then simmering it in a sugar syrup (the leftover syrup is great for cocktails or soft drinks). Then you will overlap the ham with pineapple slices and secure them with cloves. A little tip: it will seem like you have way too much pineapple but overlap it well so that you don't get gaps. After the first 30 minutes any gaps will appear and you can use any left over slices of pineapple to patch those gaps so that you get a beautiful pineapple pattern!

And best of all a 10kg/22lb full leg only needs to cook for an hour in the oven, and a half leg only needs 30 minutes as the hams are fully smoked and cooked through already. It's just a matter of removing the rind and blinging up your ham for the feast!

Pineapple Ham

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 20 people

  • 2x pineapples
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 10kg/22lbs full leg of ham
  • 1/2 cup/125g/4ozs. pineapple or apricot jam
  • Whole cloves

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert

Step 1 - Firstly make the pineapple slices. Cut the rind and eyes off the pineapple and then mandolin into thin discs on setting 2 (not too thin or thick). Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil and melt the sugar. Add the pineapple slices in batches simmering for around 3-4 minutes-they will turn a brighter yellow colour. Remove from the syrup, drain and set aside. Repeat with all the pineapple and allow to cool until ready to handle keeping the pineapple syrup for the glaze.

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert

Step 2 - Remove ham from the packaging. Leave the rind on the top cap (at the top of the ham ) intact just so it is easier to grip onto once its cooked. Make a shallow cut just under the rind then carefully taking your time push your fingers separating the fat from the rind. Do not pull this as this causes the rind to separate unevenly from the fat.

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert

Step 3 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Mix 1/2 cup jam and 1/2 cup of the pineapple syrup together and brush over the fat. Lay the pineapple slices overlapping them well and secure the slices with cloves. Brush the pineapple with the glaze and place in the oven and rotate every 15 minutes to cook evenly. For a full ham (8-10kgs/17.6-22lbs) cook for 1 hour (FYI for half a leg of ham around 4-5kgs/8.8-11lbs cook for 30 minutes). After the first 30 minutes is up check the pineapple. If there are gaps remove the ham from the oven and patch any gaps with pineapple adding glaze before returning to the oven.

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert
Before roasting

To store ham use a ham bag (a cotton bag) or clean tea towel as these prolong the life of a ham. Dip the bag or tea towel in a solution of 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon vinegar and wring out and place on top of ham in the coolest part of the fridge. Repeat every 3-4 days and your ham should last 3-4 weeks if stored like this below 4C/39F.

Christmas Food Recipes Dessert
After roasting

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