Top Tips for Cooking your Ham this Christmas

Soaking

A raw ham can be soaked, especially if it is salty, for between 12-24 hours in cold water, then brought to the simmer in fresh cold water and cooked for 30 minutes. If the water is still very salty, discard it and replace it with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil and subtract 30 minutes from the cooking time.

Flavourings

Add seasoning such as onions, apples, wine, cider, bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice berries & cloves.

Cooking Time

Cover and simmer for approx. 40 minutes per kg (20 minutes for lb). If over 5kg (10lb) in weight, reduce this to between 30-35 minutes per kg.

Cooling

Let the ham cool in its cooking liquid then drain it, peel off the skin and trim all but ½ inch of fat.

Baking

Ham can be baked after boiling with a glaze to add flavour or it can be cooked whole in an oven at 350°F/175°C/Gas 4 for 10 minutes per lb, 20 minutes per kg. Baste regularly. Test by piercing to check it is tender or 170°F/75°C with thermometer.

Tips

  • Baked ham is sometimes studded with cloves to add flavour.
  • If you want to bake or braise, then score the fat.
  • Finish with glaze and continue cooking for an additional 20 minutes a kg at Gas 4/350°F/175°C

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