A Honey-glazed Ham is perhaps one of the nicest ‘cold cuts’ of meat to enjoy in a salad or sandwich as an afternoon tea time snack. Mrs. Beeton’s recipe for boiled ham, with the suggestion of adding on a glaze, instead of bread-raspings, is still exactly how we would go about doing it today, nothing has changed in that respect. However, the recipe given is for the joint of ham to be boneless, as this is easier to obtain and safer to boil, however if you have experience in making hams with the bone on you can then do what Mrs. Beeton suggests at the end and put a paper frill around the knuckle.
The Original Victorian Boiled Ham Recipe 1861
From Mrs. Beeton’s, ‘Book Of Household Management’, Published 1861
TO BOIL A HAM.
811. INGREDIENTS – Ham, water, glaze or raspings.
Mode.—In choosing a ham, ascertain that it is perfectly sweet, by running a sharp knife into it, close to the bone; and if, when the knife is withdrawn, it has an agreeable smell, the ham is good; if, on the contrary, the blade has a greasy appearance and offensive smell, the ham is bad. If it has been long hung, and is very dry and salt, let it remain in soak for 24 hours, changing the water frequently. This length of time is only necessary in the case of its being very hard; from 8 to 12 hours would be sufficient for a Yorkshire or Westmoreland ham. Wash it thoroughly clean, and trim away from the under-side, all the rusty and smoked parts, which would spoil the appearance. Put it into a boiling-pot, with sufficient cold water to cover it; bring it gradually to boil, and as the scum rises, carefully remove it. Keep it simmering very gently until tender, and be careful that it does not stop boiling, nor boil too quickly. When done, take it out of the pot, strip off the skin, and sprinkle over it a few fine bread-raspings, put a frill of cut paper round the knuckle, and serve.
If to be eaten cold, let the ham remain in the water until nearly cold: by this method the juices are kept in, and it will be found infinitely superior to one taken out of the water hot; it should, however, be borne in mind that the ham must not remain in the saucepan all night. When the skin is removed, sprinkle over bread-raspings, or, if wanted particularly nice, glaze it. Place a paper frill round the knuckle, and garnish with parsley or cut vegetable flowers.
HOW TO BOIL A HAM TO GIVE IT AN EXCELLENT FLAVOUR.
812. INGREDIENTS – Vinegar and water, 2 heads of celery, 2 turnips, 3 onions, a large bunch of savoury herbs.
Mode.—Prepare the ham as in the preceding recipe, and let it soak for a few hours in vinegar and water. Put it on in cold water, and when it boils, add the vegetables and herbs. Simmer very gently until tender, take it out, strip off the skin, cover with bread-raspings, and put a paper ruche or frill round the knuckle.
Honey-Glazed Ham Recipe
Quick notes on making a honey glazed ham: First we boil the ham, with the skin on, then when cooled we trim the skin off, leaving behind a thin layer of fat, we score the joint in a traditional diamond pattern, then stud the ham with cloves, pushing the stems into the joint to hold them. Finally we roast the joint by pouring over a glaze, and baste it while roasting in the oven. This makes the perfect honey glazed ham, and wonderful cold cuts of meat.
- 2kg unsmoked boneless gammon joint (ask your butcher to leave the skin on)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 small turnip, roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- A few sprigs of thyme
- A small bunch of sage leaves
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A bay leaf
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 2 tsp sea salt
Optional Spices To Add At Christmas
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- about 25 whole cloves for studding
For The Honey Glaze
- 200g brown sugar (demerara)
- 25ml white wine vinegar
- 100ml sweet red wine
- 250g honey
Note: It is important to scoop off any impurities that rise to the top when simmering the joint of ham. And when roasting it in the oven, keep basting it and turning the roasting tin around to get an even colour.
Put the gammon joint in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add all the chopped vegetables, herbs (and spices if using). Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for around 2 and a 1/2 hrs, topping up the water with boiling water if necessary. After 2 and a 1/2 hours turn the heat off and allow to cool for half an hour.
After 30 minutes carefully pour the liquid away and then let the ham cool a little.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C
Lift the cooled ham out of the saucepan and place it into a roasting tin, then cut away the skin leaving behind a thin even layer of fat. Score the fat all over in a criss-cross diamond pattern, then stud cloves all over the ham – a clove between each intersection of the cuts (in the middle of the diamond) is traditional.
To make the glaze:
In a saucepan put the sugar, white wine vinegar and sweet red wine and bring up to a boil, stir continuously while bringing to a boil and then add in the honey as the temperature rises – once everything had dissolved and has been at the boil for a minute remove from the heat. The glaze for the ham should be thickened, but still pourable.
Pour half of the glaze over the fat of the ham, roast like this for for 15 mins at 190C, then pour over the rest and return to the oven for another 35 mins, basting with the pan juices 3-4 times as it bakes.
Note: Turn the pan around a few times during cooking, so the fat colours evenly, and keep basting it.
Remove the honey glazed ham from the oven and allow to rest for 15 mins before carving if serving hot. However, the ham can be roasted on the day or up to 2 days ahead of time and served cold. This honey glazed ham recipe is great for cold cuts of meat for salads and sandwiches.