I can never get sick of ham and really love being able to pull a leg out of the fridge in its bag and then hack huge slices off the side… we’ve gone through quite a few jars of Jam Girls chilli jam these holidays I can tell ya!
It really does pay to hang the expense and invest in a happy pig as not only your conscience will be freer but the meat is super-juicy and has lots of fat (fat = flavour remember!) … but the price can be quite a shock!
This year I did both: I took a mortgage out for half a leg on the bone from Feather & Bone in Marrickville, but I also bought a sad pig from Aldi – and honestly, the F&B was super-amazing, but the Aldi one wasn’t bad either. So if you can afford to buy the premium one, please do – but we all have to be realistic too and when the price difference was about $120 sometimes one can’t have it all…
One thing is for sure though: It is SOOOOO worth baking your ham. For about an hour of your time and a little bit of basting, your lovely pink ham will turn into another level of deliciousness & the most fabulous of creations… go on DO IT!
One last thing: I think that if you have the choice of easy carve or on the bone, get the one on the bone.
Anyway here is my recipe for a freakin’ lip smackin’ deeeelicious baked ham. Sorry it’s now January, but you know what? I might just get in anothery before the end of the holidays…
For a 5 to 7kg leg ham on the bone
¼ cup orange marmalade or apricot jam
¼ cup Jam Girls chilli jam
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup seeded mustard
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pack star anise
a tablespoon whole cloves
a calico ham-bag, rinsed
1. Position an oven shelf at the lowest position in the oven and remove all the other shelves. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Place a rack over the largest baking dish you have (it could be the grill tray). Fill the base of the dish/tray with 1 cup water.
2. Remove the rind from ham: using the point of a sharp knife cut a zig zag pattern through the rind around the hock (about 10cm in from the end). Run your thumb around the entire edge of the ham to loosen the rim of the rind from the fat. Then slide your fingers between the fat and the skin, working upward toward the hock, until all the rind is free. Gently pull the rind away. Store the rind in the fridge.
3. Lightly score the fat in a diamond pattern, about 4mm deep, trying not to cut into the meat. Making a pattern with the spices, stud the centre of each diamond with a clove or star anise. Wrap hock with foil.
4. Place marmalade & chilli jam in a medium bowl and beat with a spoon for about a minute. Add the brown sugar, mustard and garam masala and stir to combine. Place ham, fat side up, on prepared rack. Brush half the glaze over the ham.
Bake 20 minutes, then rotate ham 180º, to ensure even cooking.
Bake for 20 minutes longer.
Remove ham from oven and increase temperature to 200ºC. Brush ham with remaining glaze. Add more water to dish if necessary.
Bake 10 minutes, then rotate ham 180º and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, or until surface is bubbling and a deep golden brown.
5. Allow ham to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with more Jam Girls chilli jam & Iggy’s sourdough rolls and then when cold, serve with with even more Jam Girls chilli jam & Iggy’s sourdough rolls…!
Some handy hammy household tips:
To store ham, place the rind over top of the cut ham.
Soak the ham-bag in a solution of half white vinegar and half water.
Wring the bag out, then place the ham inside and wrap around. Refrigerate.
Every 2 days rinse out the bag and repeat the vinegar solution. The ham will keep up to 2 weeks – don’t forget to save a little meat for the ham soup!