Festive Ham

Main courses

  • Serves: 8
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Cider adds flavour to this festive dish © M.Jarvis

Cider adds flavour to this festive dish


  • 4-6kg ham (smoked or unsmoked)
  • 4-6 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 500ml dry cider
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons runny honey
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard


Place the ham, whole shallots, peppercorns, garlic and cider in a large pan. Add enough water to come 3/4 of the way up the ham.

Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for 3-4 hours. Cover pan and check the liquid doesn't boil away.

Leave to cool slightly and transfer to a roasting tin. Slice away the layer of rind leaving a layer of fat.

Score a diamond pattern across the fatty layer.

Mix the mustard, honey and sugar together and spread over the diamond pattern.

Put ham into a hot over to brown the glaze (200c, gas 6) this takes 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool. Place a clove on each diamond to decorate. Serve either hot or cold.

This ham is delicious with pickles or Cumberland sauce and will keep covered in foil for a week in the fridge. Any cooking liquid from pan makes a delicious base for soup.