Roast fresh ham with apple glaze

This apple glaze lends a festive shine to the Christmas feast.

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time420 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyMedium
One 5.2kg to 6.3kg fresh ham, bone in and skin on
40g flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
60g wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large Spanish onions, trimmed, cut into 2-cm wedges
3 2/3L pressed apple juice
1) Rinse the ham and pat dry. Score the ham, using a serrated knife to make parallel cuts about 2-cm apart, across and through the skin into the fat. Cut diagonally across these first cuts to make a diamond pattern.

2) In a food processor combine the parsley, sage, garlic, mustard, red pepper, salt and pepper. Add 60ml of the oil and pulse to a make a coarse paste.

3) Rub the paste all over the ham, pressing it into the cuts. Cover the ham with cling film, put on a pan and refrigerate overnight.

4) Remove the ham from the refrigerator about 1 1/2 hours before cooking so the meat can come to room temperature.

5) Preheat the oven to 230°C / gas mark 8.

6) In a large roasting tin, toss the onion wedges with the remaining oil. Place the ham on top of the onions and add 240ml of the juice. Roast the meat for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature 150°C / gas mark 2. Cook the ham until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 66°C. A 5.8kg ham will take about 4 to 4 1/2 hours, about 40 minutes per kilo.

7) Meanwhile, in a large saucepan bring the pressed apple juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to a brisk simmer and cook the juice until syrupy, reduce to about 350ml. Skim off any foam that comes to the surface as the juice reduces.

8) During the last 1 1/2 hours of cooking the ham, brush the reduced juice over the roast every 30 minutes to glaze the skin.

9) Let the cooked ham rest, loosely covered with foil, at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.

Reserve the onions and pan juices, skimming off any excess fat. Carve the ham and serve with the onion and pan juices.

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