Ham it up this Christmas
YOU won't find him trying to impress the judges on MasterChef, but Ipswich councillor Andrew Antoniolli can still cook up a mean festive feast.
Cr Antoniolli's glazed ham is the perfect dish for a good old Aussie Christmas, and the best thing about it is that it's not all that difficult for the average home chef to do.
"It all started when other extended family members were doing a glazed ham and I noticed it is not that difficult to do," he said.
"They were getting a lot of praise for what wasn't a great deal of work. After doing a couple of hams I thought, 'Why is glazing a ham such a big secret?'
"It is probably the simplest job us blokes can do.
"It makes a big difference at Christmas time because the old glazed ham is becoming Australia's traditional Christmas meal."
A lot of guys aren't that handy in the kitchen but this is something they can do.
"You don't have to be a master chef to do a glazed ham. It is pretty simple stuff," he said.
Cr Antoniolli will be cooking up at least one ham on Christmas Day for an extended family that includes at least 14 adults and 20 children.
"It is a huge effort," he grinned.
"My recipe is fairly simple and it is sweet. The majority of the ingredients you would have in your pantry every day.
"I do my recipe in a hooded barbecue but it can certainly be adapted to a household oven as well."
Cr Antoniolli uses a brandy glaze.
He has cooked up plenty of hams for charities and other community groups around Ipswich.
ANTONIOLLI'S SWEET GLAZED HAM - FOR HOODED BARBECUE
- 5kg (approx) smoked/leg ham
- Marmalade (jar)
- Orange juice
- Dijon mustard
- Brown sugar
Cut/peel rind from all of the top of the ham right back to the bone, leaving approx 1 cm of fat around the top of the ham.
Make diagonal 1.5 cm deep cuts (just into the ham itself) so that it appears that there is a diamond pattern in the top of the ham. This should be done right over the top of the ham and done as close to the leg bone as possible.
Insert a clove in each corner of the diamonds.
Pre-heat barbecue to approx. 250°C.
Mix ingredients of glaze by taking a cup of marmalade and adding half cup of orange juice, quarter cup of brandy, tablespoon of Dijon mustard, tablespoon of brown sugar, three tablespoons honey and half teaspoon of salt.
Place ingredients in microwave for approx 15-20 seconds (it may take more) and then stir to ensure that the glaze is of similar consistency (slightly runny).
Place ham on tray, preferably on rack sitting above tray and then smother top with the glaze.
Place in oven or barbecue. At approx 20 minutes intervals pour more glaze over top of ham (two or three times during cooking process).
You may need to mix more glaze.
Remove as the top becomes rich golden brown (approx one hour to one hour and 20 minutes - larger hams may take longer). Don't be concerned if the fat starts to peel away from the ham as it browns.
This shows that the cooking process is nearing its end.
When finished, allow to sit and then serve warm.
You may choose any form of sauce/gravy (apple, chicken gravy) to serve.
Better yet, if there is remaining glaze at the bottom of the baking tray you may wish to drizzle on the served ham.