Thursday, 21 January 2016

Jerk Ham

I cooked this at Christmas for an alternative festive ham with a slightly less conventional twist to my Hairy Bikers Honey and Marmalade Glazed Ham, mainly for my brother as he is a huge jerk fan and it was fantastic. Alongside the traditional Christmas Dinner mark two which we usually enjoy on Boxing Day, I served the Jerk Ham for my brother with a quickly knocked up Macaroni Cheese and carrot, apple and red onion slaw and it went down a storm.

This is a slightly sweeter version from my Jerk Chicken recipe, and I actually threw together the marinade in my Nutribullet too which blitzed everything up in a matter of seconds. I must advise to marinade at least overnight and if possible for a full 24 hours before cooking - the result will be so much more intensely satisfying.

This is a great alternative joint of meat for a Sunday – I’ll be making it with rice & pea very soon.

Jerk Ham

Here's how:
  • 1 piece of smoked ham around 1.4kg
  • 6 Scotch bonnets
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 100g brown sugar
  • Handful of cloves
  • 50g fresh ginger roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Firstly you need to make the marinade. If you have a Nutribullet or equivalent, then simply add all of the ingredients into the large cup, removing the skin and ends of the onions, garlic and ginger and taking off the stalk of the Scotch bonnets. If you wish for a milder taste you can remove the seeds but this isn't essential and I personally don't. If you have a more traditional blender that might need the ingredients chopped a little first then do so before placing into the blender. Blitz until the marinade is a thick, brown, sludgey looking liquid - this is your jerk marinade. There's enough here for two portions, so place half into a Tupperware container or a freezer bag and pop into the freezer for another time.

Now remove any packaging from the ham, including the outer skin and place into a dish that you can place in the oven but that you have a space for in the fridge too. Now smother the jerk sauce all over the ham, using your hands - you can use gloves - to make sure every part of the ham is covered. If there are any little slits or holes make sure the sauce gets pushed into these cavities as it will help the flavour to permeate the meat.

Now cover with tin foil tightly and place into the fridge until you need it - preferably at least 24 hours from now.

Now take out the ham and allow the meat to come back to room temperature for 30 minutes or so, in the meantime place the oven onto 170 degrees.

Keep the foil covering the meat loosely and cook for 1.5-2 hours. Remove from the oven and take the foil away.

Return to the oven for a further thirty minutes in which time the marinade which will still be a little wet will crisp up and char, making a really delicious gnarly coating.

Put back into the oven for thirty minutes and turn the oven down to 150 to prevent the meat from charring too quickly. (Of course read cooking time instructions on any packaging too and adjust accordingly).

One the ham is cooked, remove from the pan and place onto a plate to rest for at least 1 hour before carving. The meat will keep for a week once cooked and is incredibly versatile. Enjoy!

TIP: If you'd like to serve it with a refreshing slaw like I mentioned above, coarsely grate 1-2 carrots, 1 large red onion and 2 apples into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, the juice of a lime, a pinch of salt and black pepper and 2 tbsp mayonnaise.

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