With Christmas only around the corner, Bord Bia has put together some tips for the perfect Christmas ham.

Bord Bia Quality Mark Christmas Research has shown that traditional turkey and ham is still the number one choice with 84% of Irish people eating it on Christmas day.

According to Kantar, Irish shoppers spend an additional €7million on bacon and ham in December compared to any other month of the year.

Bord Bia’s tips for cooking the perfect Christmas Ham include:
1. Choose the right sized ham e.g. a 4kg fillet of ham will feed ten people and allows a little extra if your family like to help themselves to more on Christmas night!

2. Make sure your ham is of the best quality. Choose ham with the Bord Bia Quality Mark so you know where it comes from and that it has been produced to Bord Bia’s highest quality standards.

3. Leave the skin on the ham when simmering. It can easily be removed after cooking and adds to the flavour.

4. For extra flavour add some vegetables and a bay leaf to the cooking water.

5. Adding cider, apple juice or orange peel to the cooking water intensifies the flavours and gives the meat some extra zing!

6. Do not throw the cooking water out. It can be used to keep the ham moist when roasting in the oven.

7. A ham glaze adds a sweet flavour to the ham by providing a contrast to its natural saltiness. It also adds a nice colour and texture to the finished product.

8. Freeze any remaining cooking water in portions as stock for making soups and sauces.

Ella Gleeson, actor Lochlann O’Mearainn and broadcaster Ella McSweeney preparing Christmas dinner in the Bord Bia kitchen

Ham Glaze
For best results, once cooked, remove the skin of the ham with a sharp knife and gently score the fat into diamonds. For a simple glaze mix 1 tablespoon of mustard with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and spread over the fat before roasting in the oven for 30 minutes.

For a honey glaze, add 3 tablespoons of clear honey and the grated rind of an orange to this mixture.

If there are any…. here are some delicious ideas:
• Slice the ham and serve with wholegrain mustard and herb dressing in a sandwich
• Chop up the ham and add to frittatas or omelettes
• Combine the chopped ham with a tin of tomatoes, some garlic and basil for a tasty pasta sauce

Teresa Brophy, Consumer & Trade Marketing Manager Ireland, Bord Bia said “At Christmas, we pride ourselves in providing the best for our family and that includes creating delicious meals with trusted ingredients. By choosing food with the Bord Bia Quality Mark this Christmas, you can trust your food has been produced to the highest quality standards and you know where it comes from”.

For a great ham recipe from Bord bia, follow this link to our Bord Bia recipe page. For a range of Christmas recipe ideas and to learn more about the Bord Bia Quality Mark visit www.bordbia.ie.