How to cook a Christmas Ham – Repost

We have decided that we are going to my parents house for Christmas this year, however I have opted to cook the meats.  This year, we have decided on a large ham joint, and a topside of beef.

As this post has been so popular in the past few days, I thought it only right to “repost” it, of a sort, and share how I make it.

My mum has bought a rather lean, 2.7kg (6lb) gammon joint.  I don’t bother to soak my ham before cooking.  The boiling part draws out the majority of the salt, so that’s all I need.  Here’s how to cook it:


Gammon joint (size is up to you, but please follow the cooking schedule carefully)

5 tb sp Honey

1 tb sp Brown Sugar


Black Cracked Peppercorns

3 sticks of celery (optional)

1l Apple Juice / Coca-Cola* / Cherry Coca-Cola* / Irn Bru



1.  Place your ham ‘standing on one end’ in a large boiling pan.  Chuck in the celery sticks (if you wish).

2.  Pour 1l Apple Juice (or Coca-Cola or Cherry Coca-Cola) over the ham, and top up with water.  Make sure that the ham is fully covered.  This will be the first time I am using apple juice to boil the meat in…  Normally, it is recommended to use Cider, but I think as I am expecting, and we have a 3 year old, we’re substituting the alcoholic part for something as equally yummy.

3.  Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.

4.  Once the meat has started to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and follow the instructions for how long you need to set your timer for…

Weight Boiling Time
450g (1 lb) Allow 45 minutes
450g – 1.5 kg (1-3 lb) Allow 1 – 1 1/2 hours
1.2 – 2.7 kg (3-6 lb) Allow 30 minutes per 450g (1 lb)
2.7 – 4.5 kg (6-10 lb) Allow 3 – 3 1/2 hours
4.5 – 6.3 kg (10-14 lb) Allow 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 hours
6.3 – 8.1 kg (14-18 lb) Allow 3 3/4 – 4 1/4 hours
8.1 – 9.5 kg (18-21 lb) Allow 4 1/4 – 4 1/2 hours

Because my ham is a 2.7kg weight, I’m leaving mine for 3 hours.

5.  When your timer beeps, switch off the heat and remove the meat from the liquid (pour the liquid away – I know…  Such a waste).  It’s at this point that you need to set your oven to 190C /170C fan /gas 5.

6.  Pat dry the meat using some kitchen towels, and allow to cool slightly.  You don’t want to burn your fingers on the next part!

7.  Using a very sharp knife, remove the skin…  If your meat has a lot of fat, remove the majority, leaving a thin layer (approx 1/2cm).

8.  Place the ham into a aluminium / tin foil lined roasting tin and score the fat in a criss-cross, all over the top and sides.

9.  Now we need to mix the basting paste.  In a bowl, or jug, add the honey, brown sugar, 2 tsp Paprika powder and some black cracked pepper (to taste) and mix it all together with a fork.

10.  Using a basting brush or spoon, cover the mixture over the ham, ensuring to ‘get in the criss-crosses’.  Any left over honey mixture will not be used, so get rid of this.

11.  When the oven is preheated, place the ham (UNCOVERED!) in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

12.  Allow the ham to cool before carving…

If you’re like me, it’s best to leave it to cool completely.  I’m actually in the process of cooking my ham now (it’s in the pot, and the topside of beef is in the oven) for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  Yum yum…

Serve with whatever you like…  Potatoes, veg…  On a piece of bread…  On it’s own…  Oh my…  I’m drooling at the thought, and the smell.  Well, my house smells all Christmassy!

Merry Christmas everyone x

Any thoughts?

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