Maple & Cherry Smoked Orange Glazed Ham
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As a child, Christmas would start, for me, with the smell of a smokey glazed ham. As I arrived at my grandparent’s house for the holiday season, being met buy the wonderful aromas of citrus and oak, as my Nan floated around the kitchen, mid-preparation for the holiday feast.
Nobody could glaze a ham like my Nan! But I try…
Lilian my Nan, would usually glaze a huge, whole, bone-in ham for Christmas. Studded with cloves, layered with slices of preserved orange, and coated in the shiniest, sweet & bitter, orange glaze.
Apart from the Christmas day feast, the ham would be eaten in many different ways. Fried for breakfast, topped with an egg, within a spread of cold meats and cheeses with pickles & chutneys, a turkey and ham pie, or a simple sandwich with English mustard.
For this recipe, I’m smoking and glazing a 2.5 Kg mild cure half ham. This will be good served hot as dinner for 8 people, or dinner for 4 with plenty of leftovers for smorgasbords and sandwiches. If you’re cooking a whole ham, double the glaze ingredients, and cook to the temperatures given, not the timings. I would say add a third extra for the times as a guide.
A mild cure ham, as opposed to a traditional cure, has a lot less salt content. Which means it can be cooked straight away. Traditionally, hams were cured with a lot of salt, which acted as a preservative, but some of this salt has to be removed before cooking and eating.
Ask your butcher what cure your ham has.
If you don’t know, there’s a simple way to find out. Simply slice a thin strip of ham from the meaty underside, fry it up, and taste it. If it’s unbearably salty, you have a traditional cured ham, and will need to soak it before smoking.
To remove some of the salt from your ham, submerge it in cold water for between 8 and 24 hours depending on the size and the saltiness of your ham, and how much salt you want to remove. If it’s a very large and salty ham, you may need to change the water a couple of times.