When thinking glazes, you simply need to think about what flavours go well with ham, then add something that will caramelize meat. Flavour combinations of fruit and vinegar are always popular – fruits that go well with pork include apricot, orange, apple or pear, plum or cherry. Vinegar or vinegar substitutes include balsamic, cider vinegar, port or red wine or orange juice. Add these combinations to brown sugar, maple syrup or honey and you can see how easy it is to make your own world-beating ham glaze.
Ingredients for Glaze
16 lb piece of ham, with the bone
Zest of 3 oranges
Juice of 3 oranges
2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1 teaspoon of cloves
200 ml honey
100 ml Maple syrup
Place the honey inside a small saucepan and heat for 5 minutes or until dark brown, then add the maple syrup, orange juice and zest, mustard and 1 teaspoon of cloves. Cool to room temperature.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
Clean your ham thoroughly then using a small sharp knife, firmly score a zig-zag line around the base of the ham. Make sure you cut right through the skin and into the fat. Take your knife and, starting at the other end of the ham, run the knife under the skin and over the top layer of fat that lies just beneath. Using your fingers to make a gap between the skin and the fat peel the skin back as you go. Keep working your fingers along the ham, pushing the skin away from the fat. The skin should peel away leaving the fat in one piece. Finally remove all the skin from the ham.
Use a long sharp-bladed knife to carefully trim any excessively thick layers of fat. Ideally the fat should be at least 5mm thick all over the ham. Again using your knife to score the fat in a crisscross pattern making diamonds about 1 ½ cm long. Do not cut into the flesh, when you have finished, stud the centre of each diamond with one clove.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Half fill the roasting pan with water and brush ham liberally with a ½ of the cooled glaze. Your ham needs 10 minutes per pound or 15 minutes for a full leg. You will need to baste the ham often, after the first 30 minutes, spoon some of the juices over the ham, then use a large pastry brush to brush some of the remaining glaze over the ham. Do this every 10 minutes for a full leg of ham.
After the required length of time remove from the oven and leave to return to room temperature. Carve the ham at a slight downward angle so that every slice is rimmed with a succulent layer of glaze. Enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!