Selected shop: Please select
Telephone: 01752 893030
Boxing Day Ham

Boxing Day Ham

The turkey's been eaten but everyone wants feeding again, and what better roast to give your Christmas guests on Boxing Day than a traditional ham.


The ham
Begin by taking your ham out of the fridge and remove the packaging. You need to boil ham for 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes (and resting time). Roasted ham needs 30 minutes per 500g. So we are going to split the difference and boil the ham for an hour, then roast it in the oven for 40 minutes.

Fill a saucepan that is large enough for the gammon with enough water to just cover it, and put on the heat to bring up to the boil. Take the cloves and a skewer (or carving fork) and pierce holes in the ham all over the rind, and insert a clove into each hole. You don't need to completely cover the ham with cloves, but work in lines across the back putting a clove roughly every centimetre. Skewering the meat also allows the cooking juices in to flavour the meat so don't worry about the depth of the hole being more than the clove.

Now add the carrots, satsumas, onion and cinnamon stick into the water (which won't yet be boiling but should be warm), and gently lower the ham in. Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Set your buzzer for 60 minutes of simmering.

Carrot and swede hash
Put your chopped carrot and swede into a saucepan with plenty of water, and add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes until tender. While this is cooking, gently sweat the chopped onion until it is soft but not coloured. Remove from the heat, check the carrot and swede is soft and drain. Leave to stand in the colander for a couple of minutes, before returning to the dry pan and putting back on the heat. Turn the vegetables for a couple of minutes on the heat to dry out (carrot and swede can be very wet), then add the butter and mix well. Now mash the carrot and swede thoroughly - it is quite a rustic mash and you won't get it smooth, but the texture is part of what makes it taste so good. When you have mashed and got rid of most of the chunks, add the nutmeg and your softened onions. Mix well, then put into a baking dish, spreading it level with a spatula. Fork up the surface a little, then grate the parmesan cheese over the top. Put to one side.

Cheesy leeks
Put your cut leeks into a baking dish where they just cover the bottom but are not layered. Now, melt your butter in a saucepan and, when completely melted, add in the flour and stir into a paste using a wooden spoon, on the heat the whole time. Now add your milk into the paste and stir well so that the paste gradually dissolves into the milk. Leave on the heat stirring the whole time, and be very vigilant that it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom - or go lumpy! You might want to use a whisk for this bit of the stirring. You need to keep it on the heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is the thickness you like, which should take about three minutes (you can always add a bit more milk in if it goes to thick, but the key is to keep stirring). Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle the cheese in. Stir well, then pour over the leeks - it should be enough to just cover them but not be swimming in sauce.

Now turn your oven on to preheat, at 180ºc.

Cumberland sauce
Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally. As it comes to the boil, turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until it has reduced by half. Remove from the heat, but keep warm.

Back to the ham
Using a carving fork, gently lift your ham out of the water, hovering over the top of the pan to let it all drip out. Put the ham on a board and leave to stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Now remove any butchers string and discard then, using a sharp knife, remove any hard rind that is around the meat so that you are left just with a nice layer of fat along the top rather than the rubbery skin. (The cloves will come out as you're doing this.) Score the fat into diamonds and then discard the offcuts. Put your ham in a roasting tray that is not much larger than the joint itself, and preferably high-sided. Mix together your honey and mustard in a bowl, then brush liberally all over the ham using a pastry or silicon brush, until it is well covered. Now put your ham in the preheated oven, at the bottom.

Put your leeks and carrot and swede hash on top, and set your timer for 40 minutes. Now pour yourself a glass of something nice and relax for a bit...

When your buzzer goes off, remove the ham from the oven and put to one side. Check on the leeks and hash - they are both ready when they are brown on top (and the leeks are soft when you insert a knife). If they are not ready give them another 10-15 minutes until they are golden, then remove from the heat and leave to stand. Both of these dishes retain the heat well, so it's actually nice to have them a little bit cooler when served - but if you would rather they were piping hot, then turn the oven off but leave them in there.

Put your ham onto a carving board, slowly pour over the cooking juices, and then leave to stand for 15 minutes (it would have had five while you sorted the other veg out). When the ham is ready to carve, use a sharp knife and a carving fork to cut into thin slices.

Serve drizzled with the Cumberland sauce, with the vegetables alongside.


For the ham 1.4kg (or any other size you like) of smoked or unsmoked gammon (horseshoe or other) 1 large onion, halved 2 carrots, roughly chopped into three pieces each 2 satsumas or clementines, halved 1 cinnamon stick Good handful of whole cloves 1 heaped dessert spoon of wholegrain mustard 1 heaped dessert spoon of runny honey For the leek gratin 6 leeks, trimmed and cut into 2cm-long pieces 25g butter 50g plain flour 200ml milk Salt and pepper A good strong cheddar For the carrot and swede hash Half a swede, peeled and diced into small chunks 6-8 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut into coins 25g butter Salt and pepper 1 tsp grated nutmeg Small piece of parmesan cheese 1 onion, diced For the Cumberland sauce 200ml port Good heaped dessert spoon of redcurrant jelly Juice and zest of 2 satsumas or clementines Zest of 1 lime and juice of half