Delicious warm from the oven, eaten as leftovers or as an accompaniment to Christmas cheese and pickles; it’s Jolly Festive’s Christmas Ham!



total time

3 hrs

great for


suitable for

dairy free, gluten free

Jolly Festive's Christmas Ham

The second famous of all the Christmas meats. Delicious warm from the oven. Great for leftovers. The perfect accompaniment for Christmas cheese and pickles.

Yes, that’s right, the Jolly Festive Christmas Ham has arrived.

Whether you enjoy it on Christmas Eve (as was tradition in our family), as part of afternoon tea on Christmas Day, with leftovers on Boxing Day (as was tradition in my brother-in-law’s family), or as a way to avoid any more cooking on those days between Christmas & New Year, there is no denying that ham is a common occurrence on plates around the country during the festive season.

Looking for more Christmas food inspiration?  Click here to see our other recipes.

Jolly Festive Christmas Ham recipe before baking

And so, we decided that we couldn’t keep our family recipe locked up any longer. I remember our Mum making this Christmas ham recipe in even my earliest Christmas memories as a child.

It would appear at Christmas Eve dinner alongside an array of other delicious goodies, but it was always this ham that everyone would come back to for second or thirds.

And on the off chance that it wasn’t completely devoured that night (pretty rare!) then I remember helping my Mum make ham sandwiches for everyone on Christmas Day afternoon –it’s worth slipping into a food coma for, trust me!

And while in recent years Christmas celebrations have moved from my parents’ home to Hannah’s, this Christmas Ham recipe remains a constant. Because after all that’s what traditions are…comforting, familiar and always there.

Christmas Ham Recipe with mustard and sugar

But What About The Ham?!

But now on to the ham itself! Whether it’s bubbling away on the hob, or caramelizing in the oven, it will fill your home with the aroma of Christmas.

Cooking it in cider followed by the short oven time, means you are left with a…get ready for it…moist ham with a gorgeously golden brown exterior. The mustard gives a subtle heat, while the sugar balances the sweetness perfectly. And don’t be scared by the cloves. They do not overpower the ham but instead create a whisper of Christmas flavour in every bite.

 So whenever it is that ham makes an appearance at your table over the festive season, give this Jolly Festive Christmas Ham recipe a try –we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Want More?

Looking for more festive food & drink inspiration?  We’ve got everything from sweet treats and main events to delicious tipples and edible gifts guaranteed to wow your family & friends.

Jolly Festive's Christmas Ham

Jolly Festive’s Christmas Ham

Delicious warm from the oven, eaten as leftovers or as an accompaniment to Christmas cheese and pickles; it's Jolly Festive's Christmas Ham!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Course Mains
Suitable For Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Servings 10


  • 3 kg gammon joint unsmoked, boneless, with rind
  • 1 carrot unpeeled
  • 1 brown onion halved
  • 1 celery stick
  • 3 litres cider
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Large handful cloves whole
  • 50 g Dijon mustard
  • 10 g demerara sugar


  • Place the gammon join in a large saucepan and cover with cider. Depending on the size of the joint and the size of your point, you may not need all of the cider; but ensure that the gammon joint is covered with liquid. 
  • Add the carrot, onion, celery, peppercorns and bay leaves to the pot. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Allow the gammon joint to cook for 20 minutes per 500g (1lb). 
  • Remove from the liquid and pat dry using a piece of kitchen towel. Using a knife, carefully remove the top layer of the rind and approximately half of the fat. You will want to keep a good layer of fat for scoring. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line a deep baking pan with greaseproof paper. 
  • Place the ham into the baking dish and score the top of the fat in a diagonal pattern.
  • Stud the top of each diamond with a clove. Top with Dijon mustard and sprinkle over the sugar. 
  • Place in the oven for 30-35minutes until the sugar has caramelized and the top is golden brown. 
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