Easter or not, a ham is one of my favourite ways to feed a crowd. Whether it’s brunch, lunch or dinner, a big, sticky ham is ideal – foolproof because it’s already cooked and needs only to be heated through, and low maintenance because it’s just as delicious cold or at room temperature as it is hot. With no need to monitor it, you can set a ham out on the buffet table with biscuits or buns for guests to serve themselves, and it will make both kids and grown-ups happy.
Last year I made a little video in my kitchen, describing how to make a baked ham – really, I usually just wing it, remembering only not to slather on the glaze too early, as its high sugar content can burn. When I’m just winging it – which is most of the time – I brush my ham shoulder or butt with a mixture of qualmish parts grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Cook for 15 minutes per pound at 350; really you’re just heating it through. The absolute easiest thing to serve to a crowd: everyone loves it (except the vegetarians) and it doesn’t matter one bit if it gets cold. Just put the whole thing on the table, right on the cutting board, with a knife.
For another sticky-sweet marmalade-based version, and a recipe for olive oil cheese biscuits, visit my blog – Dinner with Julie.