I’m slowly shifting content over from Slow Cooked In Blighty. There are still a ton of slow cooker recipes over there so do take a sniff around if you came here directly. If
you’ve linked over then welcome to The Errant Sock and here’s what you came here for. I hope you’ll stay and look around once you’ve tried this amazing slow cooker ham recipe.
I’d never cooked a ham before when I first made this. I didn’t really even realise ham was such a big part of some family’s Christmas until I got married. While every new bride finds her husband’s family do some aspects of Christmas just plain wrong (I’m being ironic, you guys, in case you’re reading but come on, crackers before pudding? Before the whole meal, surely?), ham is one thing my dear in-laws do very, very right. It’s so good with all the cold leftovers, the chutneys, lashings of mustard, pickles….mmmmm. Here though, in early December, we served it with red cabbage and a slow cooker potato gratin which didn’t really work well enough to blog about but which was perfectly edible I mean, how far wrong can you go with potatoes, butter and cheese?
Anyway, back to the ham. It’s a play on a Nigella recipe from “Feast” but it isn’t quite how she does it, mainly because a) I used a slow cooker and b) I didn’t read the recipe properly. It didn’t matter. It tasted fantastic. Read on….
Ingredients for 6:
I gammon joint, unsmoked – 1KG or 2lbs
(I wanted to start small but you can scale up)
1 pint/ 0.5 litre cranberry juice
1 pin/ 0.5 litre apple juice
1 cinnamon stick, halved
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 tsp allspice
For the glaze…
approx 20 cloves to stud ham
3 tbsp cranberry sauce or 2 tbsp cranberry jelly
1 tbsp runny honey
1/2 tbsp English mustard (i.e. the strong stuff)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
First remove the excess salt from the ham. You do this by either soaking it overnight in cold water and draining and rinsing it in the morning (which I did) or you can bring it to the boil submerged in water in a normal pan leaving it to boil for 10 minutes, draining and rinsing as above before starting the recipe proper.
Tip everything up to the allspice into your slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4.
Remove and drain the ham. Preheat the oven to either Gas Mark 7/220 C / 425 F OR Gas 4/180C/ F325 if you cooked then cooled the ham on a different day. Using a sharp knife, remove the ham’s rind, leaving just a thin layer of fat. Score this in a diamond pattern. Put the ham on a roasting tin ON TOP OF FOIL (unless you really love scrubbing your bake ware) and create a glaze out of everything from the cranberry to the cinnamon, leaving out the cloves. You’re supposed to boil this up in a small pan first to let everything melt together but I forgot and our ham was fine. You’d get a smoother and prettier finish though with a smooth glaze. Brush the glaze over the ham. Stud each diamond with a clove. Admire your handiwork before putting in the oven for 15 minutes (or 40-50 at Gas 4/180C/ 325 F if you previously boiled and then cooled the ham).
Although the instructions look long-winded, this was surprisingly easy and made me feel very grown-up. My mother-in-law would have been proud. The ham itself was moist, the fruity flavours enhanced rather than overpowered the meat and the glaze was so tasty! I don’t think you could use the cooking stock for a soup, or at least, it might be quite odd, but that was the only downside. I can now do Christmas properly. Only, I’ll ice the sides of my Christmas cake, thank you very much.