Sweet chilli and cranberry glazed ham with cheesy leeks

Merrilees Parker makes a gorgeous glazed ham, served with cheesy leek and parsley mash
By Merrilees Parker
Sweet chilli and cranberry glazed ham with cheesy leeks
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 smoked leg of ham, 3.5-4kg
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 3 tbsp cranberry jelly
  • 100 g dark brown sugar, preferably muscovado

For the mash

  • 4 large large baking potatoes
  • 75 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g parsley
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the cheesy leeks

  • 6 small leeks, well trimmed and very finely sliced on the angle
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • dash white wine
  • 400 ml milk
  • 100 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 100 g aged gruy√®re cheese


1. For a 3.5-4kg ham, soak the ham overnight in a large pan of cold water. Change the water and bring the ham to the boil, then change the water again. At this stage you can add onions, carrots, celery and peppercorns to flavour the water. Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours. Remove the ham from the water and allow to cool. Strain and reserve the cooking water as it can be used for sauces and soups.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

3. Remove the thick skin from the cooked ham, ensuring that you leave a nice layer of fat. Using a sharp knife lightly score the fat into diamond shapes. Try not to cut all the way through though or the fat will fall off during cooking.

4. Mix the sweet chilli, cranberry jelly and sugar together. Spread carefully over the ham using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.

5. Place the ham on a rack in a deep roasting tray with a good splash of water in the base. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes then remove the foil and baste with any glaze in the bottom of the roasting dish.

6. Turn up the heat to 200C/gask mark 6 and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

7. Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

For the parsley mash:
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Skewer the potatoes and place in the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours until soft and cooked through.

2. Remove the flesh from the cooked potatoes and mash using a ricer or a sieve. Melt the butter in the milk with plenty of sea salt and white pepper. Blend with the olive oil and the rocket to form a smooth puree.

3. Fold the milk puree into the mash. Check for seasoning, and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

For the cheesy leeks:
1. Put the sliced leeks in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 5-6 minutes until tender. Drain and quickly refresh under cold running water to stop them from cooking any further, then drain well and pat dry on kitchen paper.

2. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add the Dijon mustard and stir well before adding the white wine. Stirring all the time, slowly add the milk until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and a little white pepper, then add the cheese and stir until you have a smooth sauce.

3. To serve, place a quenelle of mash onto the centre of a warmed serving bowl, top with slices of ham then finish and finish with a generous spoonful of the cheesy leeks.

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