We all enjoyed a mightily tasty ham on Boxing Day, and I know it’s now going to be a fundamental part of our Christmas menu every year. The Boxing Day ‘buffet’ is always a treat as its guaranteed to be made up of cold meats and cheeses – what’s not to like!? It also comes with less stress and pressure than the annual Christmas Day lunch – which lets face it – is many people’s most looked forward to meal of the year, causing much worry to the chef who has the important job of delivering it in all it’s full glory, and on time to a table full of hungry family members!

Dan actually cooked this lovely piece of ham on Christmas Day night, and the sweet aromas that filled the air while it was simmering away were really rather pleasant. I was impatient to get stuck in now that the fullness provided by a hefty roast had slowly subsided. Originating from the Deep South, we took the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How To Eat’ and the full ingredients list and cooking method can be found in the book or alternatively online here.

To prepare and cook this wonderful festive ham you will need a two kilo (or thereabouts) Gammon joint, one onion, two litres of Coca Cola, a handful of cloves, a heaped tablespoon of black treacle, two teaspoons of English mustard powder and two tablespoons of Demerara sugar.

This is how our ham looked after it had been braised in the Coke for just under two and a half hours:

20140105-170626.jpgIt was then cloved and glazed before going into the oven for a final 10 minute blast. The end result was this lovely looking piece of meat:

20140105-171107.jpgWe did have a taster that night after it had rested and cooled for half an hour or so. Although it does sound a little left field, this really does work as the Coke appeared to help retain the moisture in the joint, making it juicy and succulent, whilst also giving it a sweet and almost barbecue-like flavour. It’s a fabulous change from the the traditional breaded ham I was always used to when growing up (no offence intended, Mother).

We served it the next day as part of a hearty cold meat banquet, alongside a good piece of Topside, an array of cheeses and a selection of accompanying pickles and chutneys. Our guests loved it and we all agreed it needs to make a reappearance in 2014 (not sure we can wait until Boxing Day, mind you)!