Chef and restaurateur Fenton Keogh is happy with the Christmas ham he marinated with a mustard, bourbon and brown-sugar glaze and served with seasonal stone fruits.
Chef and restaurateur Fenton Keogh is happy with the Christmas ham he marinated with a mustard, bourbon and brown-sugar glaze and served with seasonal stone fruits. Claudia Baxter

Ham it up this Christmas

PROVING that tasty Christmas fare doesn’t have to be a complicated operation, Ipswich chef Fenton Keogh has shared his tips for serving up the perfect baked ham.

Given the likelihood of a hot summer’s day, the owner of Fenton’s Restaurant on Brisbane Street said the last thing people should do on Christmas Day was slave over a hot stove.

Mr Keogh said the glaze or marinade could be applied the night before to give the flavours time to work into the meat.

He said preparing the ham the night before also meant valuable family time was not wasted on the big day.

“On the morning, warm the oven and throw it in,” Mr Keogh said. “You could even do it on the barbecue under a hood.”

He said the ham was best served warm on Christmas Day and as leftovers the day after.

And while it was okay to take off the skin, the fat underneath should be kept on to keep the ham moist as it baked, he said.

He said the trick with turkey was also to keep the skin on during baking.

“As you cook, you want to protect the meat,” Mr Keogh said.

“Like the ham, you don’t have to eat the skin. It just protects the meat during the baking process to keep it moist.”

He said fresh summer fruits such as cherries, plums and nectarines made the perfect accompaniment to turkey.

For his baked ham recipe, printed right, Mr Keogh advises buying a ham bigger than that you will eat on Christmas Day so there are plenty of leftovers to feed the family during the week.

He suggests serving the ham with fresh summer salads or a mango salsa.

HAM PERFECTION

The night before:

Peel back and remove rind of ham (reserve rind).

Score diamond shapes in ham.

Rub about 2 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tsp five spice into ham (use enough to cover entire ham).

Place on a tray and leave to marinate in the fridge.

On the day:

Pat down brown sugar over the mustard, five spice and bourbon.

Line base of baking tray with ham rind, skin side up.

Place ham on top of ham rind on baking tray.

Place baking tray on to barbecue hotplate with indirect heat source on full heat (for example, if placing on right hand side turn burners on the left hand side on).

Leave for 30 minutes or until surface is golden brown.

Or:

Place into preheated oven and cook for one hour at 160 degrees.

Allow to rest before serving.



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