Spring is finally here and it’s great to dig out some of my Easter recipes to share. This year, chez Dundon, we will be having a proper Easter ham for the main event, served some lovely seasonal sides and of course a special chocolate dessert to finish off, well it is Easter after all.
I am often asked if you really need to boil the ham before baking it – I do it, I always have done it but I have been told by some mums that they just soak the ham in water for 4 – 6 hours before they bake it. Basically soak the ham before baking it if you’re not going to boil it. The idea of boiling or soaking the ham is to reduce the saltiness.
A couple of flavours I like to add to the water when boiling the ham are:
Recommended Cooking times for Ham :
Once you have placed the ham in cold water and brought it to the boil allow approximately 20 minutes per pound, or 40 minutes per kilo. Once cooked, allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquour, it will continue to cook in the liquid. Once cooled, remove from the liquid and remove the outer layer of fat, score the softer fat which can then be studded with cloves. If cooking a smaller joint of ham, cover it with tin foil before placing it in the oven, you don’t want dry ham.
I like to add a glaze, you don’t have to, here are a few of my favourites :
- Honey, Wholegrain Mustard
- Soy Sauce, Chilli and Brown Sugar
- Marmalade (with a pinch of chilli flakes if desired)
Heat the glaze before brushing it onto the ham. Baste frequently as it bakes. (See Asian Glazed Ham with Green Beans)
One important thing to remember is that for the ham to be juicy, like any other piece of meat it needs some time to rest. Let it rest for around 20 minutes before serving, then tuck in!
Whether it’s glazed, smoked or just a baked ham, my one piece of advice for when your buying your ham for Easter, is to buy one larger than you require. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of leftovers, think of those lovely Ham sandwiches for later in the evening, with some lovely signature chutney and pickles, on some crusty sliced breads, my mouth is watering thinking about it! Any remaining ham can be diced and chopped into scramble eggs or added to a pasta Carbonara or omelettes. (See recipe for Midweek Supper Spaghetti Carbonara)
I have a couple of lovely lamb recipes for you to try too – firstly, there’s my Roasted Lamb Loin with Maxim Potatoes, this is a lovely loin brushed with some mustard and some fresh herbs and garlic too. Lamb works really well with these lovely flavours, but you could add some herbed breadcrumbs or chilli too! The maxim potatoes are like a posh potato rosti, overlapping layer of potatoes discs, seasoned with a little salt and pepper then popped in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes. Brush them with a little melted butter for a crisper finish.
For my second lamb dish I am using Kitty O’Byrnes Turf Sauce as the glaze for my lamb, we tried a selection of these wonderful sauces at a recent demonstration in SuperValu Lucan, the newly refurbished store looks great! Turf Sauce is perfect for pulled pork, BBQs, sauces, gravies, pies, stews, burgers, toasted sandwiches and much more, keep a jar in the cupboard – there’s a very HOT version too!
We have some lovely traditional lamb recipes with roasties and gravy on the SuperValu website, give them a try.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to use up all that leftover chocolate, check out the Supervalu.ie website, our chocolate fondant with it’s lovely gooey centre, or our celebration opera cake are sure to impress. My Double Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Ganache is a go to recipe for all chocolate lovers, though be warned, they’re not for the faint hearted!