Christmas - Nigella's Coca Cola Ham

December 12, 2014


How do you cook your ham at Christmas? I was sceptical of trying Nigella's famous method, cooking your ham in coca cola, thinking that it would be too sweet. But a few years ago there was a lot of debate around it on Twitter {I think it was India Knight discussing it}, people who had tried it said they would never go back to cooking their ham the conventional way, just boiling it and then glazing. I'm a long standing Nigella fan anyway, I love her TV shows so much. So back in 2011 we decided to try it and honestly will never go back to conventional ham cooking again. The coke doesn't make it sweet but gives a rich, depth of flavour and keeps your ham more moist. A dry ham is not a tasty ham. The glaze, which goes on after cooking your ham in cola, is delicious. Over Christmas, apart from the big turkey dinner, we stuff our faces with copious amounts of ham and cheese. {January is for detoxing so make the most of it} Mmn I can't wait. Last year we did two hams, my Mum has an irrational fear of not having enough food for leftovers and we had a lot of family over for Christmas Day. And once you start eating this famous ham, you won't be able to stop.

Ingredients - 
2kg mild cure gammon
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 litre bottle of coca cola {plus extra to make sure it's covered if your pan is too big like mine was}

For the Glaze -
1 heaped tablespoon of black treacle
2 Teaspoons of English Mustard Powder
2 Tablespoons Demerara Sugar
One spoonful of the cooking water to loosen it up a little if needed.
Handful of cloves, Optional {I leave these out, they're a bit overpowering}

Make sure you have a disposable foil roasting tray, because who wants to be scraping the burnt glaze and washing up?



1. Nigella doesn't bother to soak her ham but I did to reduce the salt.  If you feel your ham will be salty, and trust me there's nothing worse than salty ham, put your meat into a pan covered with cold water and bring to the boil then tip the water away before following the rest of the recipe.
2. Put the gammon into a pan, skin side down if it fits like that, add the onion and pour over the Coke.
3. Bring to the boil then reduce to a good simmer. Put the lid on but not too tightly and cook for just under 2 1/2 hours. If your joint is bigger, or smaller, work out the timing by around an hour per kilo remembering that it will go into an oven later. Add an extra 15 minutes if your ham has been in the fridge right up until the moment you cook it.
4. Preheat the oven to 240c.
5. When the ham's had its time, take it out of the pan but don't throw away the cooking liquid just yet. Let it cool for a little bit to make it easier to handle or let it cool completely and finish cooking later if you need to. Remove the skin, laving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make large diamond shape and if using the cloves, stud each diamond with one.
6. Mix the sugar and mustard powder into the treacle with a little cooking water and spread over the ham.
7. Then cook in a foil lined roasting tin for approximately 10 minutes or until the glaze is burnished and bubbling. You may need to baste during this time.
Slice when ready and serve. You can keep this in a fridge for up to ten days, it almost gets better with age.



Christmas is for eating after all.

If you make this, then do let me know how you get on. I guarantee that you'll like it. 

{13 days to go! I've run out of Christmas videos to share after two weeks of posts, any suggestions??}

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