With Christmas only a few weeks away and stress levels rising I thought I’d give you a hand with your Christmas dinner. I’m putting together the classics with some slight differences and I’ve paired them with some beautiful wines. Every other day-ish I’ll post another Christmas recipe with three wine pairings, enjoy!
Ham with mustard and Maple Syrup glaze.
With this guy you have a good few options. The loaded fruit Pinot Noirs from the Hahn family in Northern California brings lush cherry fruit with nice acidity, this help cuts through the fat of the ham while the fruit loaded wine compliments the sweetness of the glaze. Hahn’s Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir
You can also compliment your ham with the subtle, somewhat bitter fruit flavour of an Italian Pinot Grigio. Again this wine works well with cutting through the fat content; if your glaze is going to be subtly sweet this wine will be perfect. Corte Majoli Pinot Grigio
By far my favourite and quite luxurious is Sparkling wine. Veuve du Vernay Brut or Brut Rose from Bordeaux work wonderfully. This dry greenish-yellow wine shows notes of wild flowers, fresh pear and apple with persistent bubbles cleansing your palate between mouthfuls. Veuve du Vernay Brut
- Place the raw ham (bone in if possible) in a large pot, add enough water to cover and soak overnight, or up to 24 hrs ahead, changing the water twice, this helps to remove some of the excess salt from the meat. Some might simmer the ham but I prefer this method as it keeps the ham moist.
- Heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Drain and place the ham in a large roasting tin on a bed of sliced onions, apple and bay, cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hrs, double check cooking times depending on the size of the ham.
- Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 200C /gas 6.Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the rind off the ham, leaving about 1-2 cm of fat; cut a diamond-shaped pattern into this, in every other diamond cut you could place a clove. In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup (you could use Brown sugar or honey if you prefer) and mustard, then rub all over the ham. Roast for 30 mins until the ham is tender and the outside nice and sticky, Just keep an eye encase the sugars start to burn.
- Remove the ham from the roasting tin and place the tin on the hob. Deglaze the pan with a bottle of nice Irish cider. Sieve the liquid into a small pot to remove the remaining onions, apple and bay, add a heaped teaspoon of whole grain mustard and a heaped teaspoon of flour and whisk. If you need more liquid just add some water or stock.
- Bring to the table on a large platter
- with the beautiful mustard sauce. To serve, cut 1cm-thick slices off the ham to go alongside all those Christmas trimmings. Enjoy with a big glass of one of the above!