Slow-cooked Ham with Gravy

Preparation time: overnight

Cooking time: over 2 hours

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients

For the glaze:

  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 4 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 x tbsp mustard

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250C. Let your Christmas Ham come to room temperature.
  2. Line a large roasting tin with a layer of foil, and then sit a wire rack on top of this foil. Tear off a large piece of foil (big enough to wrap around the ham) and place this over the rack on the roasting tin. Tear off a second, large piece of foil and place on top, but in the opposite way to the first, so you have 4 corners of foil ready to wrap your ham in.
  3. Sit the Christmas Ham on the foil and then pour the black treacle over it, straight onto the rind, letting it run down both sides. Don’t worry too much about spreading it over the ham, as once it’s in the heat of the oven, it will coat the ham well enough.
  4. Now lift up the sides and ends of the first layer of foil and make a seal at the top, leaving some room around the Christmas Ham, then seal the ends. Then take up the other piece of foil and do the same: you are trying to create a good seal around the ham, so pinch together any open gaps that remain. Finally, tear off another piece of foil and put over the top of the whole parcel, making sure it’s well sealed.
  5. Put carefully into the oven and let it cook for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 100C and leave for a further 12–24 hours.
  6. The following day, take the ham out of the oven and open up the foil seal. It will have made some liquid, which you can reserve to moisten the carved meat later. Carefully lift the ham out onto a board, remove the string and peel off the rind to leave a good layer of fat.
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 200C. Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern in the fat layer, drawing lines one way and then the opposite way, about 2cm apart.
  8. Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove, then mix together the black treacle, demerara sugar and Dijon mustard in a bowl and spread over the fat on the ham. It will dribble off a bit, so just spoon it back over the ham before putting back in the oven for 20 minutes, by which time the glaze will be burnished and blistered in the heat. Remove from the oven, and transfer to the board. Let it rest for 10–20 minutes before carving into thin slices.

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