Top Scottish chef Tom Kitchin gives us this delicious holiday recipe for Honey roast ham.

  • 200
  • 8
  • Medium
As we approach the end of November, thoughts turn to planning Christmas menus and preparing to host guests over the holidays. Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner are occasions for a great feast, but my wife Michaela and I always try to make the most of the holidays with lots of get-togethers whenever we can, and love nothing more than enjoying a long, sociable supper with our family and friends. If you’re cooking for a crowd, it can be stressful, but practising some of your favourite recipes or sticking to those you know well and can cook with confidence, can help to minimise any stress. To save yourself from spending the whole evening in the kitchen, it’s also worth thinking about choosing recipes you can prepare ahead and have ready for your guests arriving, or take comfort in the fact that you just have some finishing touches to add. Some of our family favourites are big sharing dishes you can prepare in advance and place in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves. It’s the ideal way to eat, taking your time over a meal and enjoying each other’s company. A great sharing dish is this honey roast ham. It’s a classic but such a comforting, delicious combination that can make the perfect party dish, or even Christmas dinner if you’re looking for an alternative to turkey.

Ingredients

  • 3kg unsmoked boneless gammon joint
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • handful of cloves
  • Honey glaze
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 50ml Madeira wine
  • 25ml sherry vinegar
  • 125g honey
  • Watercress for garnish

Method

Put the gammon in a large saucepan and pour on enough cold water to cover. Add the carrots, leek, onion, peppercorns, coriander seeds and bay leaves.

Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 3 hours, topping up with more boiling water if necessary.

Skim off the froth and any impurities that rise to the surface from time to time. If cooking in advance, let the ham cool in the stock overnight. Otherwise, allow it to cool a little, then remove from the pan. Strain the stock (and save for soup etc).

To make the glaze, put the sugar, Madeira, sherry vinegar, and honey in a pan and stir over a low heat.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes until you have a glossy dark syrup. Do not leave unattended, as it will easily boil over.

Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3.

Lift the ham into a roasting tin. Snip and remove the strings and then cut away the skin from the ham, leaving behind an even layer of fat. Lightly score the fat all over in a criss-cross, diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat.

Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove. Pour half of the glaze over the ham and roast for 15 minutes.

Pour on the rest of the glaze and return to the oven for another 25–35 minutes until the ham is golden brown, basting with the pan juices frequently. It helps to turn the pan as you baste to ensure the ham colours evenly.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Garnish with sprigs of watercress, baby carrots and chargrilled onion.

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Picture: Marc Millar

 

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.