A British Baked Ham

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About

In Great Britain, a baked ham is traditionally served at Christmas. (Baked ham is also traditional Christmas fare in Sweden and Finland.) The typical British ham is a little sweeter than most European hams. It is sugar-cured, and before sugar was widely available, honey was used in the cure. Molasses is also used. British hams are lightly smoked with oak wood.


  • 1 whole cold-smoked ham
  • 3 cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • cups hard cider
  • cups dark molasses
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • dark brown sugar
  • whole cloves


    Put the ham in a large container of cold water. Soak it for at least a day, preferably longer, changing the water several times.

    When you are ready to cook, scrub the ham and put it into a container large enough to hold it and enough water to cover it. Add all the ingredients except the cloves and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 hours, adding more water if needed. Turn off the heat and let the ham cool overnight in the liquid.

    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Skin the ham, leaving much of the fat on the meat. (the skinning should be done with the aid of a small, sharp knife.) Make crisscross cuts over the fat and insert a clove in the center of each diamond. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the ham and put it into the hot oven for 5 or 10 minutes. Check it a time or two after 5 minutes—and don’t let the crust burn.