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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

December 18 2009

Aromatic Spiced Ham

1 (4-pounds 15-ounce to 6-pounds 1-ounce) boneless mild-cure gammon
8 3/4 fluid ounces (250ml) red wine
5 pints 5 1/2 fluid ounces (3 liters) water (approximately)
1 large onion, halved
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 head fennel, halved
2 star anise
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns
For the glaze:
Approximately 16 whole cloves
4 tablespoons red currant jelly
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Place the gammon in a large saucepan. Add all the ingredients for the ham to the pan, adding more water if the ham isn't covered. Bring to the boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer and partially covering the pan. Cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, approximately 1 hour a kilo simmering time, plus an extra 15 minutes.

When you are ready to glaze the ham, preheat oven to 440 degrees F.

Remove the ham from the liquid and sit the ham on a board. Strip off the rind, and a little of the fat layer if it's very thick, and cut a diamond pattern into the remaining fat with a sharp knife in lines of about 3/4-inch apart. Stud each diamond with a clove. Put the jelly, cinnamon, paprika and red wine vinegar into a saucepan and whisk together over a high heat bringing it to the boil. Let the pan bubble away so that the glaze reduces to a syrup-like consistency.

Place a layer of foil over a roasting tray big enough to hold the ham. Place the ham on top of the foil. Pour the glaze over the clove-studded ham and then transfer it to the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the glazed fat is burnished. Allow the meat to rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes before carving it.