A whole baked ham is such a dramatic centrepiece for a Christmas spread, and this version has layers of intensity and flavour from the Guinness, marmalade, mustard and spices. I particularly like the tangy marmalade with the ham; it adds complementary sweetness but also with a sharply bitter contrast.
free-range ham (about 7kg), bone in and skin on
3 large celery stalks
1 branch fresh bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
1 litre Guinness (or another stout)
zest of 1 orange
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
12 whole allspice berries, crushed
2 tbsp ginger powder
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
500g cumquat marmalade (orange or mandarin would also work well)
1. Place the ham in a large stockpot, Esky or sink (a clean laundry sink would work well) somewhere cool, cover with ice and water and stand overnight. This will soften the skin and take a little of the salt out of the ham.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.
3. Dry off the ham and, using a sharp knife, score the skin and fat in a diamond pattern.
4. Place the celery stalks in a large baking tray to act as a trivet for the ham (you could use thickly sliced onions instead), add a branch of bay and place the ham on top. Pour 750 millilitres of Guinness over the ham and cover as tightly as possible with baking paper and foil. Bake for two hours.
5. Add the remaining Guinness, orange zest, garlic, cloves, allspice, ginger, mustard and marmalade to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for five minutes, stirring until combined.
6. Uncover the ham and spoon on about half the glaze. Use a brush to coat evenly and then bake for 30 minutes. Baste again with the remaining glaze and bake until a dark golden colour, about 10 to 15 minutes, basting with the pan juices if necessary. You will need to keep a careful eye on the ham to make sure it colours deeply without burning.
7. Present the ham whole on a bed of bay leaves and carve at the table.
1. You can also use a half ham here; just halve the ingredients and timing.
2. To store your leftover unsliced ham, soak a ham bag or clean cotton pillowcase in a solution of four cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar, wring dry with your hands and wrap the ham tightly before refrigerating. Wash and resoak the bag every two to three days.
3. You can also bake the ham in a medium hot (no hotter than 230C) barbecue with the lid closed.