Christmas in New Zealand just wouldn’t be the same without fresh and tasty New Zealand pork. From crispy bacon for breakfast, to baked ham for lunch and roast pork for dinner – nothing says Christmas quite like sharing quality food with family and friends.
To help you make the most of the festive season, we’ve put together our latest ham-glaze recipes – including our delectable date and orange glaze and orange marmalade and soy sauce ham – and have compiled our top tips for preparing, baking and carving the tastiest leg of 100% New Zealand ham, every time.
And because there’s bound to be leftovers – no matter how many people you’re feeding – we’ve also put together our favourite leftover ham recipes for the ultimate Boxing Day feast, like croque monsieur and our take on the classic eggs benny.
So gather the whanau around this Christmas and enjoy more with 100% New Zealand pork, bacon, and ham.
Cooking the perfect
Cooking a whole leg of fresh NZ ham doesn’t have to be difficult – in fact with the right tools and know-how, preparing, cooking and carving your ham can be super simple.
Follow these simple steps
Place ham skin side up, and use a sharp knife to carefully remove the rind, leaving behind a thick layer of fat.
Score the fat in a criss-cross, diamond pattern – or however you prefer.
Using a pastry brush, paint your desired glaze over the fat, covering the entire top-side of the ham.
Place the ham in a deep baking tray and cook in a moderate oven (anywhere between 160°C and 180°C) for 1 hour. Rest for 10 minutes covered with foil.
If you prefer a crispier finish
Place the ham under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes, and if you want a sticky consistency, paint your ham with some leftover glaze sauce before serving.
Removing ham rind
Using a small sharp knife, cut through the skin/rind 10cm from the top of the hock (or knuckle end of the leg)
Start to remove the skin from the ham by sliding the knife between the skin and fat.
Run your clean fingers (or a knife) under the skin and gently peel back the skin/rind to leave a layer of fat.
Use a sharp knife to score a criss-cross or diamond pattern.
Like sauces, marinades and other condiments, glazes add flavour, texture and moisture – and can turn a simple leg of ham into a delectable family-favourite. Show off your skills this Christmas with one of our sweet and sticky glaze recipes.
Place all of the ingredients into a pot over low heat.
Cook until combined, or until sugar and/or jelly has melted – about 10 minutes.
Once the glaze is syrupy, remove any solids (such as the cinnamon stick or orange peel).
Place the ham skin side up. Then run a small sharp knife under the rind around the bottom (opposite to the knuckle end/hock of leg) and each side of the ham to about halfway up. Peel the rind back using your fingers to ease the rind from the ham.
Run the tip of the knife around the bone, on the underside of the ham.
Carve slices like you would a loaf of bread, cutting on a slight angle down to the bone (rather than across).
Run your knife lengthways along the bone to remove slices.
Continue to slice towards the hock (knuckle end of the leg).
Continue slicing down to the bone, working your way around the ham until you reach about a third of the way up. Remove the bone by making a few short cuts at the joint.
To keep your ham fresh (if unglazed: fold rind back over exposed surface) place in a ham bag and store in the fridge.
Delectable Christmas leftovers
While leftover ham might be delicious on its own, there are some simple ways to use it up before the end of the year. However if you’d like to freeze your ham, make sure it’s fully cooled and tightly wrapped and consume within 3 months.