Schools out for the summer. Swaddled in a calico ham bag in my fridge? A cola glazed, clove studded baked leg of ham. In readiness for the inevitable plague of teenage locusts standing askance in front of an open fridge, hands on hips, asking the perennial question. Is there anything to eat? I’m starving.
I chanced upon this brilliant solution last summer. How fortuitous that our end of school year also happens to coincide with the beginning of the festive season. I need no reminding that Christmas is less than three weeks away now, but happily the seasonal reappearance of legs of ham at our local butcher beautifully fills a pressing need in our house. How to feed a steady stream of always hungry modern day fridge foragers.
With a plentiful hoard of bread rolls in the freezer, it’s hunting and gathering 101 made easy. Of course there’s also a complementary supply of lettuce, tomato and cheese, with a wide ranging assortment of sauces and condiments. To enable the construction of mountainous sandwiches and toasties, and perhaps an occasional ham plate with salad on the side.
Last year a five kilo leg of cola glazed ham lasted just five days. As an adjunct to hearty breakfasts and dinners. Disappearing slice by caveman sized slice (or should that be hunk?) from the bone. Receiving a huge thumbs up and grunts of appreciation all round. Why glaze with cola you may well ask? For no other reason than it’s quick and easy. And as it so happens…the idea peculiarly intriguing and appealing to idiosyncratic teenage palates.
Cola Glazed Ham
1 5kg cooked, bone in, leg of ham
500 ml cola
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
32-36 whole clove
PREHEAT oven to 160 C. Take the ham out of the fridge up to an hour before baking to bring to room temperature.
AT THE SHANK END of the ham, use a sharp knife to cut a zigzag pattern through the skin. Starting from the other end of the ham, carefully remove the skin with your fingers by peeling it away from it’s fat layer.
SCORE through the fat in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through to the meat.
INSERT a whole clove into the centre of each diamond.
PLACE the ham, clove studded side up, into a large, shallow roasting tin.
STIR together cola, brown sugar, Dijon and dry mustard powder until smooth. Pour mixture over ham.
BAKE for 2 1/2 hours in a preheated oven, basting with pan juices every 20 minutes. Rotate the tray half way through baking to ensure an even colour.
REMOVE from oven and allow ham to cool for 20 minutes before transferring to a serving platter or ham stand for serving.