A traditional ham is the perfect choice if you’ve got hordes of visitors to feed, so it’s especially good to have over the festive period. This Maple Glazed Ham certain crowd-pleaser, it tastes equally good served hot or cold. Any leftovers from this ham can be used in countless other dishes, such as in a creamy filling for vol-au-vents, in risottos or just the ham is excellent for a spaghetti carbonara, so there’s no waste – even the bone will make a wonderful stock.
– 5.25kg (11lb) leg of gammon (on the bone and skin on)
– 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
– 2 onions, sliced
– 1 bunch of fresh thyme
– 1 tbsp black peppercorns
– 200ml (7floz) Irish whiskey
– 200ml (7floz) maple syrup
– 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tsp ground allspice
– 1 tsp whole cloves
Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight is best, and then drain. Weigh the gammon joint and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes – a 5.25kg (11lb) joint should take about 4 hours. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum. Add the celery, onions, thyme and peppercorns and return to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer until completely tender, occasionally skimming off any scum that rises to the top. If you aren’t sure the gammon is properly cooked, check the bone end – it should come away freely from the gammon joint. Drain and leave until its cool enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Carefully peel away the skin, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally to make a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat.
Place the whiskey in a pan with the maple syrup, redcurrant jelly, balsamic vinegar and ground allspice. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stud the ham with the cloves and place in a large roasting tin with a little water to prevent the bottom from catching and burning. Brush a layer of the syrup all over the ham, reserving the remainder. Cook for 1 hour, brushing over another layer of the glaze every 15 minutes, until it’s all gone. Remove the cooked ham from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Season to taste and set aside to allow the flavours to develop. To serve, carve slices from one side of the ham, cutting diagonally to achieve an even thickness. When you reach the bone, insert the knife at a flatter angle and slice across the top of the bone. Turn over the leg to carve slices from the other sides.
Foodie Heaven from Neven
The MacNean Gift Card from Neven Maguire, award-winning chef of MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan. The perfect Christmas gift for food lovers or for someone very special this Christmas, this Gift Card can be used across MacNean House & Restaurant, the Neven Maguire Cookery School, the new ‘Neven Maguire Hamper’, as well as Neven’s books and DVD collection.
A beautiful surprise for those who love great food, the Neven Maguire Hamper includes Neven’s new book ‘The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food, MacNean Christmas Pudding, a delicious Ham Glaze, Jam, Marmalade, Fig & Cranberry Chutney, Mulled Wine Spice Mix, Coole Swan Chocolate Truffles and a flavoured Donegal Rapeseed Oil.
The MacNean Gift Card and the new ‘Neven Maguire Hamper’ are available from nevenmaguire.com or call 071-9853022.
Our recommended Wine Pairing for this Recipe
Chicken Run Malbec €13.99
There is a touch of wildness about the nose of this wine with aromas of damsons, white pepper, spice and bramble berries.
The wild blackberries really pop along with the fruit spice. The ripe juicy fruit plays with the cinnamon, star anise and red liquorice. It also has a lovely earthy streak giving an extra layer to the wine.
This wine will work so well with the glazed ham as the whiskey notes will balance with the earthy notes from the wine whilst the berries and spice pop with the ham.
Available from O’Brien’s Wines Nationwide or Online.
Since Neven took over the family business in 2001, MacNean House & Restaurant has been consistently winning awards for its food, service, wine offer and overall dining experience. In addition to his Neven Maguire Cookery School, where Neven presents a range of exciting cookery classes for all skill levels, he has also launched his exclusive ‘The Chef’s Table’ dining experience. Hosted in the beautiful and private surrounds of his cookery school, Neven and his team cook in front of diners and present the restaurant’s acclaimed Tasting Menu. Accompanying wines are presented and served by the restaurant’s sommelier. Visit nevenmaguire.com for more information.