Ignore the roasting instructions, this is the best way. First soak your ham if it is salty or smoked. Just place it in cold water, leave overnight then chuck the water away. This isn’t necessary for standard supermarket ham joints. In a large saucepan or stockpot, cover your joint with water. Add

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves.

Bring to the boil and simmer 20 minutes per 500gm + 20 minutes. Here are the sums for the common joint sizes:

1.2kg = 1hour 10 minutes
1.5Kg = 1 hour 20 minutes
1.8kg = 1 hour 32 minutes
2kg = 1 hour 40 minutes
2.8kg = 2 hours

This does not need to be exact, a few more minutes will do no harm.

Now for the important part: when cooked remove from the stock and let the joint rest for at least 20 minutes covered in foil and a cloth. After resting cut off the skin and outer fat before carving. Best served simply with potatoes and a green vegetable, plus bread sauce or parsley sauce.

Don’t chuck the stock away, use it to make ham and lentil soup. Use leftover ham chunks for Gammon Casserole