I love baked ham, or gammon. It reminds me of Christmas, something I always make and have available if needed in between feasts or to feature in one of them!
They generally have a sweet element to the glaze though, rendering them non-compliant on paleo or Whole 30. I wanted to make one that was just as tasty without the real sweet stuff, replacing it with sesame oil, so here’s where I got to…
1.5/2kg gammon joint (skin on)
Onion – halved
2 x carrots haved (no need to peel)
2 bay leaves
2tbps tomato puree
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tspn mustard powder
1/2 tspn five spice
Place your ham in a big pot along with the onion, carrots, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Turn down and simmer for about 2-3 hours. You may need to top it up during cooking so ensure the ham stays covered with water.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Take the ham out of the water. Do not throw the water away! That’s precious stuff in there!!
Let the ham drain on a board for a few minutes. Meanwhile mix together the tomato puree, balsamic, sesame, mustard powder and five spice.
Go back to your ham and gently cut the skin off the top. You might also want to remove some of the fat depending on how thick it is. But you still want to leave a thing layer of fat on there for your glaze to cling to. Transfer it to a baking paper lined oven tray.
Discard the skin and fat, and then spread the mixture over the top of the ham covering the fat and a little down the sides if your mixture will go that far.
Bake in the oven for around 30-45 minutes – depending on how ‘blackened’ you like the top. At this stage the ham is already cooked, so you’re just letting the glaze meld and bake.
When it’s ready, take it out to rest for at least 15 minutes. They tend to be easier to carve when they’re cold but if you want to dig in right away, do it! Get involved! You now have lots of lovely ham to store in the fridge (keeps for a couple of weeks) or freeze.
Don’t forget to strain the liquid from the pot through a sieve. Put the liquid in a bowl in to the fridge over night, then the next day you can remove the layer of fat on top to leave lovely ham stock. Portion this up and freeze it to use in soups and stews. When you get that much out of a fairly expensive piece of meat it becomes more economical 🙂