A gloriously glazed ham is easier than you think – Ginny Grant serves up a winner.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron Mclean / Styling Jess Hemmings

Ginny Grant makes a stunning festive centrepiece ham and has clever no-waste ideas for getting the most from this Kiwi favourite.

THE SMELL OF COOKING HAM with warming spices is an aroma that instantly means it is Christmas. No matter the size of the ham, it always seems to be the centrepiece. Yet it is often the leftovers that cause the most grief. Personally I find that grazing on slices of leftover ham in between swims, reading books and lounging around is one of the great joys of the holiday season and while more often than not it is served with salads, bread and plenty of hot mustard, sometimes you do want a few more ideas on how to use it.

Great butchers not only provide meats of great provenance but can guide you on the best cuts to use as well as provide suggestions for alternatives that you might not have considered. There is a wealth of knowledge beyond the counter. I heartily suggest that this year you pre-order and purchase your ham from your local butcher.

I HAD PRE-ORDERED the ham from my favourite local butchers at Grey Lynn Butchery. When I went to collect it on Monday Lucia Rodrigues and her nephew Eddie Rodrigues were apologetic: the smoker and its element had blown and the ham wasn’t ready. Hopefully it would be fixed on Tuesday. Deep breaths and mild panic ensued on my part as the photo shoot was on Wednesday. I thought about a back-up plan, decided that I’d wait until Tuesday; phoned Eddie twice on Tuesday while I got my mise en place sorted. Triumph in the early afternoon as the smoker was fixed and the ham would be ready to pick up at 8am on Wednesday. A tight, close finish and the result was one beautiful, house-brined, mānukasmoked ham. As you’d expect, it is free-range pork and in this case sourced from Harmony Meats.

The next week while chatting to Lucia, she told me that they now have back-up elements in storage to prevent potential future occurrences. And that really summed up why Lucia and Eddie are such a great team. The quality of their meats and the care with which they use these excellent products is superb; but their service is always outstanding. Of course, they are not alone.





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