Marmelade Glazed Christmas Ham
History of the Christmas Ham
Studying the ties that food has to culture can be a fascinating way to better understand why we celebrate special times of year the way we do. Baked ham is often associated with traditional Christmas dinners in many Western traditions, but its roots likely predate Christianity. Historians and folklore experts indicate that the tradition of ham at this time of year likely began among the Germanic peoples who observed Yule, or Jul as it is called in Scandinavia.
Boar’s meat may have originally been served as a tribute to the god Freyr, who presided over matters of fertility and the harvest. This is likely also the origin of presenting the boar’s head with an apple in the mouth during the Christmas feasts of the Middle Ages in Germanic and English traditions. With the rise of the Catholic Church among the pagan Germanic peoples, Freyr was probably merged with Saint Stephen, whose holy day is observed on December 26th, and who has been depicted with horses and boars in Medieval art. In any case, cold Christmas Ham makes for wonderful Boxing Day meals without the fuss.
Try this beautiful recipe for baked ham this Christmas and impress everyone who comes to your dinner table.
Marmalade Glazed Ham
- 2.25 kg leg of ham
- .5 c orange marmalade (170 g)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- .5 c orange juice
- Cracked black pepper and salt to taste
- For garnish, use whole cloves.
The Delicious Christmas Ham Method
First, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Then, making sure to leave plenty of fat, carefully trim the rind from your ham. You can create the signature diamond pattern over the surface of the ham by partially cutting or scoring the fat layer with a small, sharp knife. Be careful not to cut all the way down to the meat.
Combine marmalade, orange juice, salt and pepper, and garlic in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a bubble. Then, spread the hot glaze over the pattern, placing a clove in the middle of each diamond. Reserve enough glaze for additional brushing during cooking.
In a baking dish, place a metal rack upon which you can rest the ham. For moisture during cooking, add just enough water so the bottom of the pan is covered.
Cook for 25 minutes, regularly brushing additional glaze gently over the ham’s surface. The sugars in the glaze will create a golden, caramelised surface.
Allow the ham to rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven. Then slice it to serve either warm or cold.
Buy Sydney’s Best Christmas Hams – Delivered Fresh To Your Door.