Sticky chinotto and chilli glazed ham
The Christmas ham is like an illicit centerfold – the bit in the middle of your Christmas table that everyone wants whether they like to admit it or not. The obligatory ham only just fits in the fridge, is eaten in sickening proportions to other foods not only on Christmas day but beyond, being enjoyed for several weeks following for pretty much every meal possible from breakfast eggs to sandwiches until the bone is bare or in some rare cases when people can no longer stand the site of it.
This ham recipe takes inspiration from the southern parts of the US, using soft drink to cook with and add flavour. For something less mouth cloying I’ve used the slightly bitter orange Italian Chinotto with bucketloads of chilli jam and garlic. The result is stupendous, turning the ham exterior into an amazing, jammy, sticky can’t-stop-eating-it mess. Get involved.
1 x 4.5kg ham, bone in
10-12 red chillies, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
1 ½ cups white wine vinegar
½ cup Chinese black vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
½ tbsp. fish sauce or to taste
2 cups chinotto (Italian soft drink)
500g top quality chilli jam
½ cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
Juice and zest of ½ an orange
Few generous pinches of salt
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Make the chilli jam by combining all the ingredients in a blender and blitzing until a watery paste consistency. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan then place over low heat, stirring frequently until the mixture takes on a jam consistency. Add the glaze ingredients to the saucepan and continue to simmer until reduced and again the mixture turns to a jam consistency.
Prepare the ham by lifting off skin but leaving the fat. Diamond cut the fat and cut the skin off the bone. Line a large roasting pan with baking paper and place in the ham. Spread two-thirds of the glaze over the ham. Cook for 45 minutes up to an hour basting with remaining glaze from time to time – being careful not to burn – if the ham is taking too much colour cover with foil. Remove from heat, slice and serve warm with your Christmas spread.