French-style Glazed Christmas Ham

Cook time 3 hours
Servings 10-12


5-7 kg whole ham leg on the bone
Crusty baguette, to serve
1 bunch of small radish, thinly sliced


1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup cognac
¼ cup Dijon mustard + 2 extra tbsp for butter
1 tsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Juice and zest of 1 orange
French four spice (¼ tsp each of ground nutmeg, clove, white pepper, ginger)

Cornichon butter

10 cornichons (baby gherkins), finely chopped + extra to garnish (reserve 2 tbsp pickling agent)
5 sprigs of tarragon, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 French shallots, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
250g butter, softened

French-style Glazed Christmas Ham


To make the cornichon butter, add a teaspoon of the butter to a small pan and add the shallots. Cook on a low heat for 6-8 minutes to soften. Remove and cool. In a mixer bowl add the softened butter and whip with the pickling agent until it becomes pale in colour. Mix in the cornichons, tarragon, cooled shallots, extra Dijon and cayenne. Place two sheets of cling film on a clean surface and dollop the butter into the centre. Wrap into a cylinder and twist the end to make a bonbon-like shape. Place in the fridge for a few hours to firm up.

Preheat your oven to 170°C.

Carefully peel back the skin of the ham and with your hands ensuring the fat is kept intact. Using a small knife score a crisscross pattern in the fat. Place the ham on a rack in a large baking tray that fits in your oven. Add 1 cup of water to the tray.

In a small saucepan heat the glaze ingredients together whisking to combine well.

Using a spoon, drizzle the ham with half of the glaze. Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, checking it every 20 minutes to ensure it does not burn and to baste each time with extra glaze.

Rest for 30 minutes before carving.

To serve, thinly slice ham. Spread cornichon butter over bread and drape ham on top. Garnish with extra cornichons and radish.