Aisling Larkin's Festive Glazed Ham

The Christmas Ham

Succulent, flavourful and tender ham with a sweet ember like crips glaze. This ham is the star of the show for me at any Christmas table. In our home, the tradition is my Dad cooks the ham on Christmas Eve and then it is left to be glazed and baked in the oven on Christmas Day while the Turkey rests. For me, hand on heart one of my favourite pasts of Christmas is the hot ham sandwiches we have late on Christmas Eve. Batch bread, real Irish butter and tender slice of juicy, hot ham. Sensational. My Dad’s top tips for cooking the ham is all in the boiling. Well first actually it is all in getting the correct size saucepan to fit the ham. Then it is about the boiling. Place the ham in the saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring it to the boil, then refresh ( change ) the water about 3 times throughout the duration of the cooking process. Now you have it, our family secret to a great Christmas Ham. I hope you enjoy it and be sure to give the glaze a go, it is so simple you would be mad not too. a

Aisling Larkin's Festive Glazed Ham

Christmas Ham with Whiskey & Marmalade Glaze

This sticky, sweet and salty ham is an absolute winner. Give it a whirl this Christmas, or at any other time of the year!
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Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8



  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 6-10 peppercorns


  • 6 tbsp whiskey marmalade
  • 2 tbsp mustard ( dijon is my preference )
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 15-20 cloves


  • 1 pomegranate
  • 3 clementines
  • 1 bag fresh leafy parsley
  • 1 eucalyptus / bay / olive leaves optional
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme



  • On Christmas Eve: Bring the ham to a boil in cold water, discard this water and begin again. Cook the ham in boiling water for 25 minutes per 450g and 30 minutes over. It should simmer not boil.
  • After the ham is cooked, drain, discard almost all the cooking liquor. Allow it to cool overnight.
  • On Christmas Day prepare the glaze. Stir together 4 heaped tbsp whiskey marmalade, 2 tbsp dijon mustard and 2 tbsp honey.
  • Trim off the hard rind off the top of the ham.
  • Depending on how much fat is on the ham trim it down to about 1cm thickness.
  • Score the fat in a diamond pattern. Stud with cloves. Sit the ham on a rack and sit it in a roasting tray. Make sure there is a sheet of tinfoil or parchment paper on the bottom of the tray. Pour about 3 ladles full of cooking liquor around the end of the roast tray.
  • Roast in a preheated oven at 190/200oC for 30 minutes.(or until golden brown)
  • Mid way through cooking, take out the ham and baste it with any glaze that sits around the base or a little extra if needed.
  • Take out and rest for 20 minutes.
    To Serve: Serve it on a large platter, dressed around the edges with fresh parsley on the base and then bay/eucalyptus/olive leaves. Cut open the pomegranate and sit it at the front. Sit the clementines around the glazed ham. Garnish with a little fresh thyme. Enjoy.


Top Tips
  1. So what are you buying? Technically it is called a gammon but most of us called it a ham (because that is what it is when it's cooked).
  2. You can buy it with the bone in or the bone out.
  3. A 4-5kg ham will feed about 8 people with a turkey.
  4. Make sure you have a pot big enough to cook it in and it will fit in your oven.
  5. Soak it in cold water overnight the day before ( 23rd), to wash away some of the excess salt.
  6. Cook the ham on Christmas Eve, then glaze it on Christmas Day.
  7. To boil (poach it) put the ham in, and cover it with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Skim off any remaining salty scum off the top.