My brother is known in our family as the ‘over-exaggerator’. His personal life stories always sound so amazing, usually because they are blown completely out of proportion. I’m sure he’ll laugh when he reads this (here’s hoping) but you usually have to dial his stories down a few notches to get the true sense of what actually happened. This is why when he told me his mother-in-law’s glazed ham was absolutely unbelievable, I just figured it was probably pretty good as far as glazed hams go.
We spent Christmas last year back home in Perth, and Scotty and I just happened to be visiting my brother’s house when his mother-in-law dropped off her glazed ham for them. It had just come out of the oven and after taking one bite of the ham I had to concede that it was absolutely freaking unbelievable and for once, my brother was not over-exaggerating. If anything, he had under exaggerated – hers is the perfect cider glazed ham.
I proceeded to spend the next two hours begging and pleading for the recipe, until finally she agreed to give it to me (I can be very persuasive *read nagging* when I want to be). I trustily wrote the recipe down knowing that this year I absolutely had to try it.
A few days ago, she and I spoke again about her incredible ham recipe a year on. We talked through the ins and outs, what to do, and what not to do, and then I finally mustered up the courage to ask her if she would let me photograph the recipe and put it up on Chew Town. I am absolutely delighted that she said yes, because this is literally the best glazed ham recipe I have ever tasted and it is not really that hard to replicate – all it requires is time and a little patience. And today (in 30+ degree Australian summer heat) I glazed this baby basting every 10 minutes for two hours until on first bite I realised it was exactly like Jill’s Cider Glazed Ham I tasted a year ago.
If you haven’t decided how you will be glazing your ham this year, get thee to a shop and buy some brown sugar, a few bottles of alcoholic apple cider and some cloves… you will not regret it!
Jill, thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me share this recipe on Chew Town. I’m sure anyone who makes it will secretly thank you too! I don’t recommend changing anything when trying this recipe, Jill has definitely perfected it over the years through trial and error.
Jill’s Cider Glazed Ham
8 Kilogram Leg Ham (whole leg)
500g dark brown sugar
2 355ml bottles Strongbow SWEET alcoholic apple cider*
2 355ml bottles Strongbow DRY alcoholic apple cider*
Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
Remove the skin of the ham by gently score around the leg bone 5cm from the base. Slide one of your fingers under the skin and gently work your hand in between the skin and fat carefully peeling back the skin as you go and leaving the fat on the ham until the skin is removed in a single piece.
Score the fat in long lines one way and then repeat in the opposite direction, till you are left with a diagonal pattern. Place cloves into the diagonal cross points as far into the flesh as the clove will allow. Taking the dark brown sugar a handful at a time, pack the sugar onto the ham leg about 15 to 20 ml thick being careful not to dislodge the cloves (see images above).
Place in a large roasting dish with a roasting rack inside ensuring that the ham is elevated off the base of the pan the whole time. Pour all bottles of the sweet and dry alcoholic apple cider over the ham and place in the oven. Turning it down to 160° Celsius.
Every 10 minutes, baste the ham with the cider and sugar mixture that has formed in the base of the pan using a turkey baster. Repeat this until the ham has baked at 160° Celsius for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours
Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge in a ham bag that has been cured in water and vinegar and watch to see how quickly it dwindles in size!
* If you cannot find Strongbow in your area use an alternative brand but ensure you use an equal combination of sweet and dry apple cider.