Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
for the glazed ham:
1 x 6.8–9kg (15–20lb) ham on the bone, rind still on
500 g (1lb 2oz) demerara sugar
about 40 cloves
for the bubble and squeak:
50 – 75 g (2–3oz) butter
2 small leeks or 1 medium–large leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small savoy cabbage, cut into quarters, core removed and leaves thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 rashers of streaky bacon
800 g (13/4lb) mashed potato
2 tblsp chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley and chives
6 eggs (optional)
Place the ham in a large pot of cold water and leave it to soak overnight. The following day, drain the soaking water, then cover in fresh cold water and place the pot on a high heat. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 7–8 hours, topping up with water if necessary, until the ham is cooked. Alternatively, place in the oven (preheated to 110°C/225°F/Gas mark 1/4, or the lowest setting) and cook for the same length of time.
You can tell the ham is cooked when a piece of the rind comes away easily from the fat. Also a skewer inserted into the meat will come out easily. Drain the ham and place in a roasting tin.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
Pull the rind off the ham and discard it, then score the fat with a knife in a grid pattern to make squares or diamonds with lines roughly 2cm (3/4in) apart. Stick a clove into each square or diamond, pushing it right into the fat with your thumb. Next take about 400g (14oz) of the sugar and pack it onto the fat, pressing it in with your hands.
Place in the oven and cook for 30–50 minutes or until the sugar coating is deep golden and caramelised. Halfway through the cooking time, take the ham out to baste it and add the remaining sugar.
For the bubble and squeak - place a large frying pan on a high heat and add 15g (1/2oz) of the butter and 2 tablespoons of water. When the butter has melted and the water bubbling, tip in the leeks and cabbage. Season with salt and pepper and toss the vegetables together, stirring every so often. Cook until the cabbage is wilted, then tip into a large bowl. Add in the mashed potatoes and mix together.
Add the mashed potato and the cabbage/leek mixture to the hot frying pan. Stir over the heat for a 3–4 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.