Christmas ham

Richard Corrigan gently poaches his festive ham in scented wine
By Richard Corrigan
Christmas ham
  • Rating:
  • Serves: a 3kg joint will serve 15
  • Cook Time: for a 3kg joint
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus soaking time
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 joint gammon
  • 2 onions, peeled and halved
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
  • 3 leeks, cut into large pieces
  • 1 heads garlic
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 750 ml bottle white wine

To finish

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp English mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 2 handfuls dried white breadcrumbs


1. Weigh the gammon and make a note of the weight. If you have bought a traditionally cured gammon from an artisan supplier, you may need to soak it in a large bucket of water for 1½ days to remove any excess salt.

2. When ready to proceed, put all the vegetables and spices in a pot. Sit the gammon on top of the vegetables and pour in the bottle of wine. Fold a sheet of greaseproof paper in half and press on top of the joint.

3. Cover the top of the pan with a double layer of foil and scrunch it up tightly around the rim so that no steam can escape. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, being careful not to break the foil seal.

4. Place the pot on the hob and heat until steaming. Cook for 25 minutes per 500g: you can either continue cooking it on the hob or transfer it to an oven preheated to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. If cooking in the oven, you may find the ham needs another 5 minutes per 500g.

5. When the ham is cooked, remove it from the heat and leave to rest in the liquor for 15-20 minutes.

6. Lift the ham from the pot and take off the rind it should peel away easily.

7. To finish: combine the honey, mustard and a little milk in a small bowl, stirring to make a smooth paste. Smear the glaze all over the ham, then cover with the breadcrumbs.

8. Bake the ham at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for a final 10-20 minutes, or until hot through.

Rate This Recipe