How to nail a Christmas ham with a touch of Starward
Nailing a Christmas ham is no mean feat. A lot rides on how juicy and flavoursome it is – oh, and how impressive it looks. Ask anyone who’s on ham duties on December 25 and they’ll tell you the pressure is on! If your family or friend’s WhatsApp group is blowing up with roles and responsibilities for the big day, and the Chrissy ham is one of yours – you’ve come to the right place. We’ve enlisted the help of Melbourne-based cook and food lover Yummelia; she’s got a delicious ham recipe up her sleeve with a cheeky Starward twist. Plus, some advice on entertaining and how she celebrates the festive season.
So, pre-heat that oven, get your ‘Kiss the cook’ apron on and prepare to make the best Christmas ham of your life.
Before we kick things off, a little about Yummelia – the woman who’s going to make all your ham dreams come true. A lover of culinary delights and entertaining, she turned her passion for all things delicious into a catering business. She specialises in custom cupcakes and cakes, insanely aesthetically pleasing grazing boards and catering nibbles for parties. She also doesn’t gatekeep her delicious recipes instead she posts them along with how-to videos to her Instagram for you to try at home! Speaking of, here’s her ham recipe. When it comes to which Starward whisky to use, Yummelia has a few recommendations.
Nova: “With notes of red berries, orchard fruits, vanilla, caramel and soft oak spice your ham will be finger-licking delicious.”
Fortis: “With notes of vanilla, chocolate ganache, cinnamon, quince and Muscadelle raisin with a lingering spiced finish, your ham will be tasting like a Christmas-y delight.”
HER Honeycomb: “If you want a sweet, indulgent baked ham then this is the whisky for you! It’s barreled with the finest Local Honey Floral Blend from Pure Peninsula Honey to create a sweeter-tasting whisky. Quick, this whisky is limited edition!
Starward Whisky, Honey & Mustard Sticky Glazed Baked Ham
- 3-7kg whole leg ham with bone
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 150ml Starward Whisky
- 60ml apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp english mustard
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp grain mustard
- Preheat oven to 180° and move the oven rack to the bottom to create as much space as possible.
- Sharpen your knife then carefully run it under the skin of your ham to remove the skin. Make sure you don’t go too deep, you just want to expose the fat not remove it! It helps to hold up the skin with your under hand so you can see what you’re doing. I like to leave the skin on the bone to create a handle, so I score about before 10cm where I don’t remove the skin.
- Running your knife on the diagonal, score the fat to create 2cm diamonds. Try not to hit the meat. Its best to really take your time with this as this is what creates the beautiful glistening patter. Place the ham in a deep oven tray and set aside.
- Measure out all your glaze ingredients into a saucepan and turn up your heat to a medium temp. Stir constantly for 5 mins until the sugar is all dissolved. You can check this by looking on the back of your spoon, you don’t want to be able to see any sugar crystals.
- Once the sugar is dissolved ramp up the heat and bring to a rolling boil but once it get there turn off the heat quickly!
- Your glaze is ready to brush over your ham. Cover the scored ham fat with a generous layer of glaze and then pop it into the oven.
- I like to check it every 15 mins to bast with another layer of glistening glaze. At the 30 min mark I cover the face of the ham and the bone handle with a layer of foil to protect it from burning.
- Continue this process for about an hour + or - depending on the weight of your ham (1 hour suited my 5kg ham). You will know it’s ready when the glaze is looking golden, juicy and sticky.
- Remove the ham from the oven and allow to sit. You can serve it hot or prepare earlier and serve cold. I like to serve it cold with a selection of mustards, cranberry jelly, sauerkraut and horseradish… you can never have too many choices! A nice presentation idea is to wrap the bone handle with some parchment paper and then wrap around some string. I poked in some beautiful rosemary to give it a nice festive look!
- The ham will keep in the fridge but just make sure to keep it in a ham bag or cover with paper towel… mmm leftovers.
- Take a look at my Instagram @yum_melia for a video how-to and follow for more great recipes. Enjoy!
- How do you like to celebrate Christmas?
“I love a super inclusive and eventful festive season where I dive headfirst into anything social. Christmas is a time when everyone stops and takes a moment to celebrate the amazing people in their lives. A beautiful time of year when a simple afternoon message will easily lure the group text to the pub to enjoy some sunny refreshments. It’s also time when it’s ok to watch cringe-worthy Lindsay Lohan Christmas movies on repeat.”
- What's your number one tip for hosting a Christmas party?
“I think the key to hosting a good Christmas day is to always over-cater; there's nothing better than leftovers and nothing worse than not enough food. I think sharing the load and getting people to bring a plate is a great way to make things easier and allows people to bring their favourite festive dish. It also helps with juggling dietaries and preferences too! I also suggest a mandatory post-meal couch nap and I love a mid-meal seat shuffle so you’re not stuck next to the same people.”
- Aside from ham, what are your other go-to treats for the holiday season?
“I have so many great festive recipes which are all certified crowd pleasers and very simple. On my @yum_melia I am currently doing a ‘20 Christmas Recipes in 20 Days Countdown’ in the lead-up to Christmas Day. Take a look and follow along to see how-to videos and get inspired. Some absolute highlights include my chocolate pavlova wreath with vanilla whipped cream, raspberries and a chocolate sprinkle, super gingery gingerbread, festive focaccia, vodka and beetroot cured pink salmon, loaded rocky road, mistletoe mojitos, Summery salads and recipes which include using up the leftover ham! Win-win!”
- What's the one Christmas song you'll always line up on Spotify when entertaining?
“My favourite Christmas song *cringe* will always be Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas Is You’! And while we’re at it, may as well roll through her greatest hits.”
- What's your drink of choice at a Christmas event?
“Drink of choice… this is a tough one! I think if it’s not whisky I’ll go with a lightly-chilled sparkling shiraz. There’s something so festive about its colour and it seems to work with any meal!”
Nailed the ham? Good on you! Now it’s time to think about the cocktails you could serve with it.