Well it’s January and you are thinking “do I really want a giant piece of ham in the first week of the year?”. Well it’s not so much about what you can do for your ham but what your ham can do for you with this simple dish.
We’re planning on using up all your leftover Christmassy bits and pieces with this recipe.
The bag of mulling spices, cider that you bought for your cousin that didn’t get drunk at new year, some sad looking carrots at the back of the fridge, a brown little apple and anything else you think might be a good addition as we go along. The name of the game is to use up as many bits and bobs as you can while making something super tasty (that doesn’t cost too much) and will give you sandwiches all week long.
So without further ado, the odds and ends ham.
1x Ham joint large enough for the people you want to feed – a little bit bigger is better if you can stretch to it because you’ll have leftovers for sandwiches – yum. The good news is these will probably be on sale right about now in your local large orange, green or blue supermarket as they will have over stocked for Christmas and now be trying to shift them.
Cider – enough to cover your ham in the large pot you plan to cook it in. It doesn’t have to be the finest cider or even craft cider and if you don’t quite have enough you could top it up with a little apple juice. We’ve also used wine in the past as we don’t like mulled wine but we do like mulled wine ham!
Spices & Stock – in the spirit of cupboard clear-out have a good root around and see what you can find. Cinnamon sticks, mulled wine spice teabags, a bit of ginger or a few cloves (don’t put in too many of these or it’s all you’ll taste), bay leaves are also nice, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme. Use up things you don’t need, look at those jars at the back and see what you can find. A stock cube or two wouldn’t go amiss here or even some leftover gravy to add to you pot.
Vegetables and fruits – time to clear out the fridge, old carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips, celery, onions and even apples from your fruit bowl. Decide if you want any of them to make a side dish of your choice and everything else can be chopped into large chunks to go in with the ham, cutting off any brown bits and of course peeling the onion.
Breadcrumbs – left that bread out while you went away for a few days? Got an old loaf in the freezer – time to blend that and pop it in a bowl. Optional for use later.
Honey – a few tablespoons is good, we’ll use them right at the end so it’s time to use up that half jar sticking to the back of the shelf.
Place your ham in the large saucepan that you plan to use (it will need to have a lid).
Pop some of the chopped vegetables down the sides of the ham and the remainder on top.
Pour over the cider or wine or apple juice till the ham is covered and then add in any spices, mulling teabags etc. that you like to flavour it.
Turn the hob on to high and bring the pan to the boil for about 5-6 minutes. This will cook off the alcohol (Hello dry January friends!)
Then turn the heat down to medium put the lid on and then cook the ham for about 2-2.5 hours - this will cook most supermarket joints of meat but I’d check the packaging for more accurate timings if you’ve got a really large ham. Prod & check with a fork every now and then to see if the ham is pulling apart cooked and turn the meat over occasionally. If the surface of the liquid gets terribly frothy you can spoon the froth out and throw it away.
Once you are done remove the ham from the pot and either you can wrap in tin foil and rest it a few minutes while you cook your remaining vegetables for your side dishes- maybe using the stock from the ham? Then slice and serve.
Optional final stage.
Pre heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Spread honey over the surface of the ham and coat with breadcrumbs then place in the oven to brown for ten minutes. Again I’d recommend resting the ham in foil for a few minutes before you slice and serve.
The ham recipe will be different every time you make it of course, cuts of meat do vary, you’ll have different things available to add to your pot and liquor to cook the meat in. Don’t worry too much about the ingredient quantities a dash of this or that will make your ham personal to you and if you make it a few times you’ll get to know your favourite ingredients.
Perfect for a roast, to smother in gravy or to slice for rolls or crispy baguettes. Serve with chips, pineapple rings a la 1982 or maybe just eat from the fridge at midnight.