Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Glazed Ginger Ham

At this time of year, in the run up to the festive season, there are few more pleasurable things than cooking and serving a whole roast ham. Always decadent, with its crisp sweet glaze and glisteningly glace cherries. You can either serve the ham hot from the oven with pickles and warm potato salad, or cold as part of a buffet spread, letting your guests carve the ham themselves. If you are feeling slightly less formal you can use slices of this to make posh ham, egg and chips or in thick doorstop sandwiches with lashings of mustard. The poaching liquor also makes an excellent stock base for warming winter soups – it is particularly good in a pea and ham soup (using some of the ham in the recipe). My ginger ham has a light glaze made with maple syrup – if you prefer your ham to look a little more traditional with a dark glaze just add a few tablespoons of black treacle to the glazing mixture.
Serves 8 – 10
1.5kg unsalted gammon ham
1.5 litres ginger beer
250ml cider
1 litre water
1 tsp whole cloves
2 star anise
2 inch piece of ginger
1 orange bell pepper
1 large cooking apple
1 large white onion
For the glaze
80ml maple syrup
80ml cider
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
85g light brown sugar
To decorate
Glace cherries
Whole cloves
Wash the ham and place it in a large saucepan with the ginger beer, cider and water. The pan needs to hold nearly 3 litres of liquid and the ham so a large jam pan is ideal. If you have not got a pan large enough simply omit some of the water from the recipe – but remember the ham needs to have enough room to float in the pan freely. Add the cloves and star anise. Peel and finely slice the ginger and add it to the pan. Chop the pepper into thick slices and remove the seeds. Chop the apple and onion into large pieces and add to the pan together with the pepper. Simmer for about 1 ½ hours, turning the ham over every 20 minutes or so to ensure even cooking. Drain the ham, reserving the poaching liquor if you are using as stock. Mix together all the glaze ingredients to a smooth paste. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190C/375F. Using a sharp knife carefully cut away the skin of the ham and discard. Score lines in a crisscross pattern into the fat on the ham. Place in a roasting tin and spoon the glaze over the ham. Roast for about 25 – 30 minutes, basting with the glaze every 5 minutes, until the ham is golden. If the glaze starts to smoke in the roasting pan add a little extra cider or water. When cooked, remove the ham from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then decorate by securing half cherries slices to the ham with whole cloves.


lucylastic said...

Looks fab Hannah - how long will this keep in the fridge once it's cooked please? I'm guessing a few days or so? Lucy

Hannah said...

I have kept this in the fridge fine for up to 5 days - we have not kept it longer as it has all been eaten by then but I imagine it would probably keep for a week well. I wrap mine in greaseproof paper and then in a whole later of clingfilm to keep it airtight and then store it in the fridge. It helps to keep some of the glaze all over the ham to keep it moist. If the glaze gets too thick during cooking, add a little extra water to the glaze.
Happy Christmas Cooking Lucy
Love Hannah