Looking for a Christmas ham with serious wow factor? Go no further than Nigella Lawson's version! Says Nigella: 'I like to have some of the sweet, salty pink meat carved, and some still clove-studded and gorgeously whole, as a joint, on a wooden board. Obviously, it is fabulous hot, too.'



  • 6.5kg smoked gammon, with knuckle bone

  • 250ml red wine

  • Water to cover

  • 1 large onion, halved

  • 2 cloves garlic (unpeeled)

  • 1 head fennel, halved

  • 2 star anise

  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon coriander seed

  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon fennel seed

  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon mixed peppercorns


  • 20 whole cloves approx.

  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons cranberry or redcurrant jelly

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar


  • 1.

    Put all the ingredients, except those for the glaze, into a large pan, on the stove but off the heat, adding water until the ham is covered.

  • 2.

    Turn on the heat and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and partially cover the pan. Cook for about 3 1/2 hours. (This may not seem long for a big joint, but as it will carry on cooking as it cools. And this is going to be eaten cold, I don’t want it overcooked. Nor do you.)

  • 3.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Lift the ham gently out of the hot liquid, sit it on a board and let it cool slightly, not too much but just so that you can touch it without burning yourself.

  • 4.

    With a sharp knife, strip off the rind, and a little of the fat layer if it’s very thick, but leave a thin layer of fat. I love this work: it is peculiarly gratifying seeing the hot blubbery fat slither off. Use the same knife to score a diamond pattern in the remaining fat on the ham, in lines about 2cm apart. Stud the points of each diamond with a clove.

  • 5.

    Put the cranberry or redcurrant jelly, cinnamon, paprika and red wine vinegar into a little saucepan and whisk together over a high heat, bringing it to the boil. Let the pan bubble away, for about 5 minutes, so that the glaze reduces to a syrupy consistency that will coat the fat on the ham.

  • 6.

    Now sit the ham in a roasting tin lined with foil, as the sugar in the glaze will burn in the oven as it drips off. Pour the glaze over the diamond-studded ham, then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the glazed fat has caught and burnished.

  • 7.

    Take the ham out of the oven and sit it on a wooden board to cool (2–3 hours) before you carve it.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

  • Energy 1333kj
  • Fat Total 54g
  • Saturated Fat 18g
  • Protein 181g
  • Carbohydrate 13g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Sodium 17535mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Extract from the book Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson, rrp $69.95. Copyright Random House 2008

TIP: Try serving this with mango chutney or English mustard.

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Posted by Ines2Report
i have decided that nigella has to come live with me! that's it.
Posted by thunderozReport
sounds very tasty, we will be trying this recipe this christmas so thanks in advance