Chef Noel shares tasty brown sugar and passion fruit glazed ‘CunningHAM’ recipe
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and it doesn’t get more fa-la-la-la-la than exploring the table’s main staple – ham. Jamaican-Canadian Chef Noel Cunningham shared a few ham tips with Food and included his brown sugar and passion fruit glazed ham recipe for tasty measure.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the perfect ham. According to the good chef, we need to first address the different cuts. Usually salted, dried or smoked, a whole ham can weigh 15 to 20 pounds and serve up to 30 people. A half-ham is sufficient for up to 15 people.
“For a traditional Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving ham, go for the shank (leg portion). The shank end sports that classic ham profile, so it’s a good choice for a picture-perfect table,” he explained. The leg meat, he said, tends to be fattier, and it has one long bone, which makes for easier carving. Now, who doesn’t love a good carving for Christmas dinner?
The ham is prepared in numerous ways, but for the traditional Christmas meal, you will want to select one that’s been cured with brine, then smoked and fully cooked. “The two highest grades of ham are sold as either whole or halves. The upper part of the ham is usually very tender and flavourful. But it often contains part of the hip bone, which makes carving a little awkward. The shank half, the lower part of the ham, is easier to carve. But because the muscles in this region get more exercise, this cut is tougher and chewier,” he added.
Now that the conversation about cuts is out of the way, here is a chance to test your culinary skills by preparing Chef Noel’s brown sugar and passion fruit glazed ham recipe for yourself.
Chef Noel’s brown sugar and passion fruit glazed ham recipe
6lb smoked ham leg bone-in
Passion fruit pulp (juice) or pineapple juice
²/3 cup brown sugar
4 slices fresh ginger
5 passion fruits, halved
3 small oranges, juiced
¹/4 cup dark rum
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all packaging materials, including the mesh and place the ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Add 3 cups of water to a pan and cover tightly with aluminium foil and steam for 45 minutes.
2. For the glaze: Scoop passion fruit pulp or pineapple juice into a measuring jug (you’ll need 3/4 cup pulp). Squeeze juice from one orange. Stir pulp or juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, sugar, ginger, and rum in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain, pressing firmly with the back of a spoon to extract one cup of liquid.
3. Remove skin and excess fat. Use a sharp knife, cut slits in a cross-check pattern, add cloves as you like, and brush with a little passion fruit glaze. Return to the oven. Heat 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Glaze every 15 minutes, or until golden and enjoy.
Please note: If you don’t have passion fruit, then you can use the traditional pineapple or any flavoured marmalade, jams or jelly, even pepper jelly, of your choosing to add some sweetness. Chef Cunningham strongly recommends that you get creative and festive with it!