As baking the Christmas ham is a once-a-year occasion, you may need a few tips to refresh your memory. The result will be a ham that is a feast for the eye and for the taste buds.
- Defrost the ham in the fridge. It will take 3–5 days for a frozen ham (3–9 kg).
- Take the ham out and bring to room temperature several hours before baking it.
- Pat the ham dry before baking it. Stick a cooking thermometer into the thickest part. Make sure the tip does not touch the bone. The thermometer should indicate an inner temperature of about 10 degrees.
- Place the ham on an oven rack, with the rind side up. Place a baking tray with a little water under the rack.
- Bake the ham in an oven bag if you want to protect the oven and avoid excess cooking aromas.
- Bake in 125 degrees (50–70 min. per kg) until the inner temperature reaches 75–80 degrees. The temperature will continue to rise for a few degrees after you remove the ham from the oven.
- Let the ham rest for a few minutes. Remove the net and the rind.
- Gratinate the ham according to taste.
- Pour the baking juice into a container and let it cool. Remove the excess fat from the surface and use the cooking juices, for instance, in sauces and soups. Do not pour the hot baking juices down the drain.