In an excellent stroke of luck, our friend Christopher received a very large Christmas hamper from his work three days before he left for his huge Christmas adventure in the US. Because he is excellent people, we got a 5kg ham on the bone for freeeeeee! (And all the other stuff from his hamper! Thank you, Christopher’s Corporate Overlords!)
The ham sat and took up space in our fridge for the two weeks before the 1st Annual Fakesmas (Friend Christmas on the 22nd). I’ve done Christmas ham two times previously — one marmalade and mustardy and one cidery — and so figured I’d just knock up a glaze of whatever when Fakesmas arrived. It was not to be, however, as I watched Luke Nguyen cook a Claypot Cola Chicken one Thursday night. The time had come for me to the live the dream and make a Cola Ham.
Using both Nigella’s Ham in Coca Cola and this SBS Food recipe as inspiration, we created our own version of this delicious ham. It was pretty much the most delicious way of cooking a ham and, frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever need another option.
- ham on the bone
- 750ml cola (it needs to be the full stuff, folks. Trust us.)
- 200g brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp mustard powder
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- whole cloves
Preheat your oven to 160C.
Using a sharp knife, remove the skin from the ham but make sure to leave a thin layer of fat. If you are me, make Katie do this bit because she is much tidier and the diamonds she will score in the fat will be neater. If you don’t have a Katie to do the scoring, never fear. Score the ham fat in parallel lines one way and then the other to make a diamond pattern.
Take your whole cloves and stud the corner of each diamond with a clove. Ooo, pretty!
Put your ham in whatever roasting tin/dish you are going to cook it in. Pro-tip: if you can’t be bothered with any clean up, use a disposable one or line your roasting tin with a bunch of aluminium foil. We didn’t do either of these things so just did the dishes.
In a medium bowl, mix together 250ml of cola, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard powder and black pepper. Mix to combine and taste it. Be patient and wait to see if you get a nice mustardy kick and don’t just dump more mustard powder in — we almost had a mustardtastrophe. Add some more cola if it isn’t combining properly. We went for a liquidy glaze so we needed it to be pourable. You could add less cola and brush it onto the ham. That would also be delicious.
Pour your glaze over your ham and pour the remaining cola into the bottom of your roasting dish.
Put your ham in the oven and wait for amazing aromas to begin. Every half hour, get it out, find yourself a ladle and baste with the liquid in the bottom of the dish. If it starts looking a little too baked/dark, fashion it an attractive tinfoil hat to protect it from colouring further.
Bake for 30 minutes per kilo i.e. our just less than 5kg ham baked for 2 and a bit hours and it was piping hot all the way through.
Let the ham rest whilst you serve up all the sides and then present it to family and friends with much acclaim.
Pour cola juices into serving dish of some kind, skim fat off the top if necessary, whisk. Serve with ham.
I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to put anything in my mouth as much as I want this cola ham. And that’s INCLUDING the time I was in an elevator with Daniel Vettori.