Cold Spiced Ham Baked in Black Treacle

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

A Taste of Dreams

A Taste of Dreams

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1976

  • About

This is a mouthwatering way of cooking smoked, rolled collar or a more expensive joint of gammon to eat cold. It has a wonderfully mellow, aromatic flavour and you can carve it in very thin slices. It is perfect for parties or whenever you have to feed a lot of people.


  • 1 piece of rolled smoked collar. Whatever size you need, it will shrink a bit in the cooking but a 4–5 lb piece (1.75–2.25 kg) should feed at least 15 people. I do not think it is worth cooking a smaller piece as it will keep in the fridge for some time.
  • 1 small tin black treacle (about 6–8 tablespoons)
  • juniper berries
  • cloves
  • whole allspice berries
  • demerara sugar


Soak the piece of bacon in cold water for at least 12 hours, changing the water two or three times. Then crush some juniper berries in a mortar and poke them right into the bacon with your fingers where you can, or make incisions if it is rolled so tightly that you can’t get your fingers right in. Stick cloves into the joint all over. Crush the whole allspice in the mortar and press them as firmly as possible all over the joint too. Spread the black treacle thickly all over the joint and wrap completely in foil. Bake in a low oven Gas 1 (275°F/140°C) for 4–5 hours according to size. Take out, remove the skin while it is still hot, sprinkle the fat underneath with demerara sugar and wrap again in foil. Put the joint on a plate with a board on top and weight it down with weights or books. Leave overnight. Before carving unwrap and sprinkle some more demerara sugar on the fat. To store in the fridge cover again with foil.