A FLAVOURSOME centrepiece for anyone’s Christmas buffet.
3.5 kg raw cured ham or gammon, boned and rolled
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
1 tbsp peppercorns
3-4 tbsp whole cloves
4 tbsp clear honey
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp dark rum
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tsp brown mustard seeds, toasted
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 pineapple, cored and cut into chunks
1 sprig rosemary
1 tbsp honey
100ml cider vinegar
120g light brown sugar
50g blanched almonds, toasted
1. To make the pineapple chutney, cook the onion in 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the mustard seeds and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Gently cook down for 1 hour or more until it’s a jammy consistency. Season and cool.
2. Put the ham in a large pan, cover with cold water and drop in the bay leaves, star anise and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer then cover and simmer for 21/2 hours. Drain.
3. When just cool enough to handle, remove the skin of the ham, leaving a decent layer of fat. Score the fat in a diamond pattern with a sharp knife and stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.
4. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put all glazing ingredients except the thyme leaves in a pan. Heat the glaze gently to dissolve the sugar then brush the ham liberally with the mix. Sit the ham on a wire rack in a roasting tray with a couple of inches of water in the bottom.
5. Bake the ham for 30-40 minutes, basting with the glaze until golden. Just before the end of the cooking, sprinkle over the thyme leaves and give the ham another 10 minutes. Serve with the pineapple chutney.