Chilli and pineapple-glazed Christmas ham

Give your Christmas ham a tropical twist with the sweet and tangy flavour of pineapple and a touch of chilli.
This RACV Club recipe will infuse your festive feast with the taste of summer.

There are a thousand ways of glazing your ham for a Christmas feast, but Healesville Country Club & Resort Executive Chef Himanshu Sharda believes pineapple is the perfect match. If you add maple syrup and chillies you get a delicious infusion of sweet, savoury and spicy flavours.

“Pineapple creates nice, summery flavours and that mix of sweetness and sourness goes well with ham,” Himanshu says. “You can use stone fruit as well, but I like pineapple and chilli.”

Himanshu says there are five key points to remember when buying and preparing ham for Christmas.

  • Always buy Australian ham that has been traditionally smoked.
  • Check for a natural meaty texture.
  • Look for smooth and even skin.
  • Ask your butcher for a tasting sample and aim for a balance between smokiness and saltiness.
  • Remove rind and keep the ham covered with a damp cloth until you are ready to cook.

As a general guide, a 3kg ham serves 10-14 people, while a 5kg ham will serve 15-20.

Two glasses of sparkling wine clinking
Glazed ham
Christmas table setting

Set the table, pop the sparkling wine and enjoy this pineapple and chilli smoked ham. Photos: Shannon Morris, Getty Images.

Pineapple and chilli glaze

Ingredients

1 litre pineapple juice

1 fresh pineapple, diced small

3tsp red wine vinegar

2 long red chillies, seeds removed

100ml sweet chilli sauce

1 medium red onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

50ml maple syrup

3tbsp brown sugar

6-8 mint leaves, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Lightly sweat off red onions, garlic and chilli in a saucepan. After a few minutes add all the remaining ingredients.
  2. Let the mixture simmer until a glossy consistency is achieved. It should take around 25-30 minutes on a low heat.
  3. Take the glaze off the stove and let it cool.
  4. Blend the ingredients in a food processor.

Cooking the ham

Ingredients

Ham on the bone (size depends on the number of guests)

Cloves, handful

Chilli and ham glaze (recipe above)

Method

  1. Place the ham skin side up. Using a sharp knife, peel back the rind, starting at the bottom of the bone. Make sure you leave a good amount of fat on to protect the meat. Cover the tip of the bone with aluminium foil.
  2. With a sharp knife, score the fat about 1cm deep in a crisscrossed diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat or it will dry out during cooking.
  3. Heat the oven to 220-240°C. It needs to be very hot.
  4. Gently stud the centre of each diamond shape with a clove.
  5. Put ¼ of the glaze over the ham and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Brush the surface of the ham again with the glaze and cook for another 20 minutes. Repeat until the ham is fully cooked. Cooking time will depend on the size of the ham. Rule of the thumb is 20 minutes of cooking time per 450g of ham on the bone. A 3kg ham will take just over two hours.
  7. Once cooked, let the ham rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.
  8. Enjoy the beautiful ham with your family

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