Award-winning British chef Gizzi Erskine has a new collection of recipes out to see you through the holiday cooking season (and then some!) While American and British holiday fare can differ greatly, rest assured that you’re in excellent hands. This spiced pineapple Christmas ham will delight your guests year after year.
The Christmas ham. I love it so much. I’ve written numerous ham recipes in my time – mango-glazed, pomegranate-glazed – if it’s got the combo of sweetness, tartness and spice it’s going to be a winner. This recipe uses pineapple, and the tartness outweighs its sweetness. I think it cuts through the ham in the most brilliant way.
- 1 9-pound boned and rolled smoked gammon ham (about half a ham), soaked overnight in loads of cold water
- 5 1/4 pints pineapple juice (the best-quality pure carton stuff — it's not worth juicing fresh pineapple for this recipe)
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 3 carrots, peeled and halved
- 3 sticks celery, halved lengthways and widthways
- 1 Scotch Bonnet chili
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 10 allspice berries
- 10 black peppercorns
- A good few thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
For the ham
Find the biggest pot you can in which the ham will fit.
Put the ham in the pot, pour in the pineapple juice and top up with water so that the ham is covered. Add the onions, carrots, celery, the chilli, spices and herbs to the pan. Slowly bring the liquid to the boil, removing any scum as it appears until the surface appears clear.
Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to a fast simmer and allow it to bubble away for 1¼ hours, topping up the water level regularly to ensure the ham is fully covered at all times, and removing scum from the surface every time you do so. Once the ham is cooked, remove it from the pan very carefully so as not to tear any of the meat. You may find this easier if you let the ham cool a little in the cooking liquor, then allow it to drain and cool in a colander for 10 minutes.
Place the ham in a large roasting tin. Very carefully, carve the skin away to reveal the thick layer of white fat – if you’re lucky it will peel away easily – then score the fat so you make loads of slashes all over it, or crossways in both directions to make little diamond shapes if you prefer.
Heat the oven to 475°F. Put all the glaze ingredients in a pan and simmer until reduced to a syrupy glaze that will stick to the ham. Rub the glaze all over the ham and into the corner of each diamond. Roast for 20–25 minutes, until sticky and caramelized. Leave the ham to rest for 15 minutes if you want to eat it warm, or let it cool completely.