I belong to a group of ladies who see each other every morning to exercise, but we also get together to have fun and eat. This year I took the ham to our Christmas gathering. This is a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Australian magazine. The fig glaze is wonderful and the aromas in your kitchen will definitely make your home feel like Christmas.
4 to 6 kg whole ham leg
cloves, to stud
1 bunch of fresh herbs, or Christmas flowers to decorate
SPICED FIG GLAZE
280 grams fig jam
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
METHOD FOR THE HAM
1- Preheat the oven to 180C, ensuring oven rack is at the lowest possible position.
2- Put the ham on a chopping board, rind side up. Using a sharp knife, cut around the ham shank through the rind only.
3- Start on the opposite end of the bone, insert thumb and fingers between rind and fat. Run thumb slowly from side to side, peeling back the rind from the fat as you go. Remove the rind completely from the shank.
4- Using a sharp knife, score the fat with diagonal parallel cuts 4cm apart. Repeat in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern.
5- Insert a clove into the centre of each diamonds. Place the ham on a rack and then on a large oven tray. Wrap the exposed shank bone with foil paper.
6- Brush the fat with 1/3 of the glaze. Add 375ml water to the base of the tray.
7- Put the ham in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and sticky, brushing with the remaining glaze every 10 minutes.
8- Remove foil from shank and transfer to a platter. Decorate the shank with your herbs, ribbons or Christmas decoration. Be creative, it always looks wonderful!
METHOD FOR THE FIG GLAZE
1- Put all spiced fig glaze ingredients and 1/2 cup of orange juice in a small saucepan stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- The recipe in the magazine suggested to cook all the fig glaze ingredients but I found the glaze became to runny and didn’t stick to the ham.
- Decorate your shank to match you festive décor. Make fragrant bundles, using rosemary, cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves and beautiful gold and red ribbons.
- Glazed hams can be served warm or cold.
- Make sure that your tray and ham will fit your oven. I few times I realized that my ham or turkey just doesn’t fit my oven. Avoid this last minute mistake.