Recipe: Christmas ham with hasselback potatoes


It's Day 7 of Blogmas! Today's post is a recipe for a tender Christmas ham served with crispy hasselback potatoes laced with garlic. Here's how to make it all...


Christmas ham with hasselback potatoes



Serves 2

Ingredients
For the ham:
  • 750g unsmoked gammon joint (boneless)
  • 500ml full-fat cola
  • Black pepper
For the ham glaze:
  • 75g demerara or light brown sugar
  • 750g clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine or orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Whole cloves (for studding the ham)
For the potatoes:
  • 6 medium size potatoes (washed and dried, unpeeled)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Method
Christmas Ham
  1. Place the gammon joint in a slow cooker and pour the coke over it and season with black pepper.
  2. Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours.
  3. Once cooked, allow to cool for 10 minutes while you make the glaze. You'll also want to pre-heat the oven at this point; 170°C/gas mark 3.
  4. To make the glaze, add the sugar, honey, vinegar, wine/orange juice and water to a pan, stir and bring to the boil,
    then simmer gently for 3-4 minutes until it becomes thick and glossy.
  5. Cut any skin off the top of the cooked ham, leaving behind a layer of fat.
  6. Score the fat in a criss cross pattern, and push a clove into the points of the diamonds.
  7. Pop the ham in a roasting tin, and pour over half of the glaze.
  8. Bake ham for 10 minutes, then pour over the rest of the glaze and cook for another 20 minutes until it goes a nice deep golden brown; during cooking baste the ham with the juices and syrup from the pan.
  9. Once the ham is cooked, rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Hasselback Potatoes
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  2. Make small slits into the potatoes, but not right through to the bottom (I rest mine on a wooden spoon as it stops the knife going all the way through).
  3. Mix the oil and minced garlic together in a bowl.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush each potato with the oil and garlic all over and place into a baking tray/pan.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and then cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes, the slits in the potatoes will have started to open up and you want brush more olive oil and garlic over them, trying to get the mixture into the little gaps too.
  7. Return the potatoes back to the oven and cook for another 30 minutes before serving.


Tips


  • If you don't have a slow cooker, you can cook a 750g gammon with the cola in a large pan on the hob; bring to the boil and then simmer for about 50 minutes until cooked through. I'd absolutely recommend getting a slow cooker though it makes the meat so, so tender, and you can cook so many amazing things in them. You can pick one up for less than £20 here.
  • You could make some extra veggies to go with the ham and potatoes; I roasted some chantenay carrots for about 30 minutes, then added some honey and roasted for another 15 minutes or so. I also added some peeled and quartered red onions to the ham roasting tray when I added the second layer of glaze. Braised red cabbage and leeks would also work very well with the ham.
  • You can use apple juice or pineapple juice to cook the ham instead of cola if you prefer; alternatively cooking the ham in ginger beer will give a spicier rather than sweet taste to the meat.
  • If you can't find sherry vinegar for the glaze, apple, cider or red wine vinegar can be used.
  • You can use melted butter in place of olive oil for basting the potatoes during cooking.
  • You can make a much larger ham if needed - just increase the cooking time. For the slow cooked, I'd add at least 2 hours on high and 3-4 on low for a 2-3kg ham. You'll also need to increase the quantity of ingredients for the glaze (double or triple depending on how much bigger you make it) and the oven times I'd say 15 minutes, add the remaining glaze, then 30 minutes, basting frequently. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  • The cooked ham can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days after cooking; it will be delicious on bread rolls with some fresh coleslaw.
  • Finally, be super careful when taking the ham out of the slow cooker/pan - I nearly blinded myself when the ham dropped back into the pan and splashed the hot sticky cola everywhere and I'm lucky that I only burnt my skin above my eyebrow, oops!

* Ham recipe adapted from here. All links correct at time of writing.

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