Festive ham

This tasty dish is a great festive alternative. It's smothered in a runny honey glaze and uses peppercorns and garlic for creating a rich flavour.

Main courses
Christmas baubles on the tree at Sizergh in Cumbria.
  • Preparation time 25 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 4 hours and 30 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 8


  • 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


  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Leave to cool slightly and transfer to a roasting tin. Slice away the layer of rind leaving a layer of fat
  4. Score a diamond pattern across the fatty layer
  5. Mix the mustard, honey and sugar together and spread over the diamond pattern
  6. Put ham into a hot over to brown the glaze (200c, gas 6) this takes 15-20 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and cool. Place a clove on each diamond to decorate. Serve either hot or cold
  8. 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