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Spiced Christmas Crackling Ham - Yum

Salty, crisp, juicy crackling ham with a touch of spice aroma makes a beautiful centrepiece for Christmas. Maximum impact for minimum effort – just what you want during the festive season.
  • SERVES 10-12
  • TAKES 15 MIN TO PREPARE, 3-3½ HOURS TO COOK, PLUS SOAKING, DRYING AND RESTING

Ingredients:

1. Well, first you need a ham. I prefer free range and unsmoked, Make sure you get the bone-in (about 4-4.5kg), Plus, the skin must be scored for perfect crackling – ask your butcher to do this for you if you like.

2. Sea Salt lots!

3. Cloves - about 50 of them 

4. Cinnamon ground

 

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 150°C. Put the ham in a large, shallow roasting tin, sprinkle the skin generously with salt and ground cinnamon, then in a line place in between each skin score a clove, leaving about an inch between each one. Keep going until they cover the skin, or as much as you prefer. Then transfer to the preheated oven to roast for 2½-3 hours. Some people prefer to cook their ham in water to keep it moist. If you use 1 tray or 2 to do this method, remember to keep top up the water over the 2-3 hours. 

2. Increase the oven temperature to 230°C. Wrap foil around any exposed bits of ham so that only the skin is left unwrapped. Return the ham to the oven to cook for a further 20-25 minutes, until the majority of the skin has crackled and is crisp. You may have to rotate the ham a little to crisp up the parts of the skin not exposed to the hot air. Stay close to the kitchen, watch the ham to ensure it does not burn. 

3.  When you’re happy with the crackling, remove the ham, take off the foil and rest uncovered on a chopping board for 30 minutes. Carve the ham in generous slices, with the crackling attached, and serve with cranberry relish, chutney or apple sauce.

Remember Christmas ham will last a long while, so be sure to share the leftovers around with the family for boxing day snacks. 

Happy baking and Merry Christmas.