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Cider-Glazed Ham

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2kg/4½lb middle gammon (cured ham) joint
1 large or 2 small onions
About 30 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1.3 litres/2¼ pints/5⅔ cups medium-dry (hard) cider
45ml/3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
Bunch of flat leaf parsley, to garnish

For the cranberry sauce

350g/12oz/3 cups cranberries
175g/6oz/¾ cup soft light brown sugar
Grated rind and juice of 2 clementines
30ml/2 tbsp port


Serves: 8


1. Weigh the gammon and calculate the cooking time at 20 minutes per 450g/1lb, then place it in a large flameproof casserole or pan. Stud the onion or onions with 5-10 of the cloves and add to the casserole or pan with the bay leaves and peppercorns. (A large stockpot is ideal for cooking a big piece of meat but a deep roasting tin or pan will do in an emergency, with foil as a cover and turning the meat often for even cooking.)

2. Add 1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups of the cider and enough water just to cover the gammon. Heat until simmering and then carefully skim off the scum that rises to the surface using a large spoon or ladle. Start timing the cooking from the moment the stock begins to simmer.

3. Cover with a lid or foil and simmer gently for the calculated time. Towards the end of the cooking time, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

4. Heat the sugar and remaining cider in a pan; stir until the sugar has dissolved.

5. Simmer for 5 minutes to make a dark, sticky glaze. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

6. Lift the gammon out of the casserole or pan. Carefully and evenly, cut the rind from the meat, then score the fat into a diamond pattern. Place the gammon in a large roasting pan or ovenproof dish.

7. Press a clove into the centre of each diamond, then carefully spoon over the glaze. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the fat is brown, glistening and crisp.

8. To make the cranberry sauce, simmer all the ingredients in a heavy pan for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer the sauce to a jug (pitcher). Serve the gammon hot or cold, garnished with parsley and with the cranberry sauce.

COOK'S TIP:- Leave the gammon until it is just cool enough to handle before removing the rind. Snip off the string using a sharp knife or scissors, then carefully slice off the rind, leaving a thin, even layer of fat. Use a narrow-bladed, sharp knife for the best results.

VARIATION:- Use honey in place of the soft light brown sugar for the glaze and serve the meat with redcurrant sauce or jelly.

Energy 447Kcal/1873kj; Protein 44.1g; Carbohydrate 25.6g, of which sugars 25.6g; Fat 18.8g, of which saturates 6.3g; Cholesterol 58mg; Calcium 35mg; Fibre 1.3g; Sodium 2203mg

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