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Ginger Beer Ham with Southern Comfort Glaze

I first made this ham for a Band of Bakers event a couple of years ago. Admittedly it’s on the fringe of ‘baking’ but I enjoy tenuous almost as much as I enjoy my carnivore tendencies. It’s a well know fact that the only thing better than meat is meat coated in booze so this went down pretty well. Almost as well as the box of chicken nuggets I took to the chocolate event!

I recently remade this as a centrepiece for my baking themed thirtieth birthday party along with my Super Garlicky Cheesy Tear’n’Share Loaf. Unlike with the bread, I did make two lots and initially thought I’d massively over catered but within 5 minutes of declaring the buffet opening, I’d had to start carving the second joint so I guess it was a hit again!

The pictures here are therefore mostly for a double batch but the quantities and instructions I’ve given are for just the one large joint.

You could use any kind of Bourbon, Run, Whiskey or something like Cointreau instead of the Southern Comfort.

Warning – this is best made the day before you want to eat it as a night in the fridge makes this much much easier to carve.

Serves 10-15 on a buffet, 8-10 as a main component

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Ingredients:

1 medium Unsmoked Gammon Joint (about 3kg)
2 White Onions
1 litre Fiery Ginger Beer (I used sugar free)
1 tbsp Ginger Paste

The Glaze:

2 tbsp Mustard Powder or English Mustard
2 tbsp Runny Honey
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
3 tbsp Muscavado Sugar
3 tbsp Southern Comfort


First of all you need to select a good joint. Fat is the key here, you need a good layer to take the glaze, it keeps the whole thing moist (sorry) and assists in making the cooking liquor good and gelatinous. It doesn’t matter if its skin on or off but again the skin will help with the jelly.  I would also err on the side of unsmoked. I have made ginger beer ham with a lightly smoked joint and it’s ok but it’s better unadulterated.

Remove 1 medium Unsmoked Gammon Joint (about 3kg) from it’s packaging and place in a large pan.

Tip – To be honest a pan a little larger than the one I had would have been ideal but a fairly snug fit is fine, you may need to top up the ginger beer level part way through cooking.

Quarter 2 White Onions with the skin on and tuck the pieces down the side of the ham.

Add 1 litre Fiery Ginger Beer to the pan or until the joint is covered and stir in 1 tbsp Ginger Paste then put the pan onto a medium heat. Cover with a lid and leave for about 2 and a half hours.

Tip – Check the ginger beer level every now and again top up if required.

Remove the cooked ham from the liquor and leave to drain on some kitchen towel and cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to as high as it will go and prepare a pan to use to glaze the ham.

Tip – I used a disposable foil pan in a roasting tray. Essentially you are going to create a heinous sticky mess so unless you want to spend an hour scrubbing out a pan, line something really well with a few layers of foil or something else that can be disposed of. Make it quite a snug fit to minimise wasting the glaze.

Remove any skin from the ham and add it back to the cooking liquor. Put the pan back on the boil to reduce the sauce down to about 200ml of liquid.

Score the ham fat in a diamond pattern.

Mix 2 tbsp Mustard Powder or English Mustard,  2 tbsp Runny Honey,  1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes,  3 tbsp Muscavado Sugar and 3 tbsp Southern Comfort in a small bowl.

Rub the glaze all over the ham and pop it into the lined cooking tray.

When the oven is at full temperature, put the ham in for 5 minutes then remove and baste the glaze that has melted off back over the ham. Repeat this process 4 or 5 times until most of the glaze is baked onto the ham itself and its turned golden.

Leave the ham loosely covered to cool and then put in the fridge overnight – it will be much easier to carve the next day.

Meanwhile, once the cooking liquor has reduced, strain it to remove the onion and ham fat and leave to cool. Once it has been in the fridge a while, the layer of fat can be skimmed off. The resulting leftover sauce can be used to deglaze the glaze cooking pan which will add an extra depth of flavour.

Can be served hot or cold with the sauce and ideally some soft bread, cheese and the cooking liquid sauce.

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