Sticky Glazed Asian Ham

  • Cured gammon joint or ham joint (2.5kg ham off the bone)
  • 1 small handful of black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 large handful of cloves
  • For the Sticky Glaze
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and squashed
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1⁄2 orange
  • 220g honey
  • 340g soft, light brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cured joints can be very salty, so it’s best to soak the joint in cold water overnight. If you’re short on time, cook the joint in a large pan of water for 40 minutes to get rid of excess salt. Remove from the pan and discard the salted liquid.

2. Weigh the joint to calculate the cooking time. Place in a clean pan and cover completely with water. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves, ginger, star anise and half the cloves, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. The joint needs 25 minutes simmering time per 450g (1lb) (so around 1 hour 50 minutes).

3. Thirty minutes before the joint is ready, preheat the oven to 220°C, Gas Mark 7. Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small pan, heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 25 minutes until reduced and thickened.

4. Remove the joint from the water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Keep the cooking liquid, it is delicious.

5. Remove the thick layer of skin (but not the fat) from the joint. This can be quite fiddly and often comes off in bits rather than in one large piece.

6. Use a sharp small knife to score the meat diagonally, then change direction and score the other way to form diamonds. Stick the remaining cloves into the holes where the lines cross, then pour the glaze over the meat.

7. Put the joint in the oven and cook for 20–30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.

8. It can catch easily at this point because of the honey, so keep a close eye on it. Once the joint is cooked, remove from the oven and cover loosely with baking paper to allow it to rest. This evens out the temperature and makes the meat more juicy.

9. Serve with hunks of bread and cold potatoes.

Recipe courtesy of Lorraine Pascale, Baking Made Easy HarperCollins, 2012 (£20) Photography courtesy of Myles New

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