Christmas ham

By on December 3, 2012

Growing up, I recall with fond memories,  the delicious aroma of a traditional glazed ham my mother would cook each year  on Christmas Eve.  Christmas and New Year’s are two special days in the family when a whole leg of ham graces the holiday table complete with all the festive trimming.  Serving ham at Christmas is a worldwide tradition. Christmas at home was never the same without it. So why ham at Christmas?   Historians believe that the tradition originated in northern and central Europe where wild boars originally come from.  Today,  Japan has become a wild boar breeder and a big producer of  high quality kurobuta ham.  Nissin ham in fact is one of the biggest producers of premium ham since 1916.  Although the Japanese have no known tradition of cooking ham similar to the west,  they customarily put it as a topping for ramen or Chinese noodles.   Ham is one of the common oseibo or year-end present to family and friends.The cured ham you will find in most Tokyo supermarkets is usually deboned so the preparation time should be much quicker and carving a lot easier.  Here’s a family heirloom recipe for you to try and enjoy.

Christmas Ham
Ingredients:    2 -3 kg. cooked ham, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups pineapple juice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon Djijon mustard, crushed cloves to taste, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, 2 tablespoons flour

Side garnishing:
Red grapes, black berries, sliced oranges, basil or mint leaves

Method of preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
2. Put cooked ham on greased baking pan.
3. In a medium size bowl, mix brown sugar,  mustard, honey, pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, flour and crushed cloves.  Microwave for 5 minutes and stir well.
4. Using a brush, gently spread the glaze on to the ham making sure all sides are covered.
5. Bake for 8 minutes and apply another layer of glaze.  Cook for another 5-7 minutes or until your glaze has caramelized and turned into golden brown.
6. Take out from the oven and let it cool.
7. Put glazed ham on a platter and decorate the sides with fruits and other garnishings. For a fancy look, carve thinly with a sharp hollow edge knife and serve.

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