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Whole glazed ham with roasted figs

For fans of ham of the sticky glazed kind.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 10 - 12
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For this showstopping ham recipe, we've given you the choice of three glazes. It'll be tough choosing just one, but when you do, your Christmas table centrepiece will be well on its way.
For more festive Christmas recipes, pick up the December issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale now. Better yet, become a subscriber.
FIG, GINGER AND COFFEE GLAZE
Combine 1 cup fig conserve, 2 tbsp ginger, cut to julienne, 60ml (¼ cup) strong espresso coffee, ½ tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and ¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine then simmer until slightly thickened (2-3 minutes).
SPICED CABERNET GLAZE
Combine 2 x 100gm packets cabernet paste or plum paste, 125ml (½ cup) red wine, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp each whole allspice and juniper berries, lightly crushed, in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to dissolve then simmer until thickened and combined (1 minute).
CHILLI, TAMARIND AND LIME GLAZE
Stir 140gm crushed light palm sugar and 160ml water in a saucepan over low heat to dissolve sugar, then increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring until caramelised (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp fish sauce and 1 tbsp lime juice (carefully as hot caramel will spit), then add 2 thinly sliced long red chillies, 3 very finely sliced makrut lime leaves and 1½ tbsp tamarind purée and set aside to cool.

Ingredients

  • 1 large leg ham (about 8kg)
  • 1 quantity of glaze
  • 6 figs, halved
  • 6 fresh fig leaves (optional)
  • 2 sprigs each bay leaves and rosemary

Method

  • 1
    Make your chosen glaze (see above).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 200°C. Use a small sharp knife to cut around ham rind 10cm from top of shank. Run the knife under the rind around edge of ham. Run your thumb underneath rind and above fat to separate edges all the way around. Starting from the widest edge, gently pull back rind to remove. Score fat in straight lines at 2cm intervals – do not cut deeply or the fat will spread apart during cooking.
  • 3
    Place ham on a rack in a large roasting pan with a cup of water, then brush with some glaze. Bake, brushing with glaze every 20 minutes and rotating tray if necessary, until sticky, golden and warmed through (1-1½ hours). Rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, place fig leaves, if using, on a large oven tray, top with figs, cut side up, then brush with a little of the glaze, drizzle with oil and season to taste. Bake figs with the ham in the last 20 minutes of cooking time or until just tender. Decorate ham with bay and rosemary sprigs and serve with roasted figs.