The Spinoff Kitchen: How to glaze a Christmas ham

Over some festive fizz and a spot of good-natured mother-daughter ribbing, Sophie and Emerald Gilmour share two delicious glazes plus some ingenious tips for getting the best out of your Freedom Farms ham this Christmas.   

Whether you want a classic glazed ham or something a bit jazzy, Freedom Farms, Dietary Requirements co-host Sophie Gilmour and her mum, Auckland hospo legend Emerald Gilmour, have got you covered.

Sophie founded free-range chicken eatery Bird on a Wire in Auckland in 2013, growing the business to three stores and making it a mainstay of the Auckland food scene before selling and moving on earlier this year. After five weeks at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, she returned to Aotearoa and launched her new hospitality consultancy, Delicious Business.

Hospo runs in the genes, as Sophie’s sister Mimi Gilmour Buckley owns Burger Burger, and their mum Emerald basically laid the foundation stones of Auckland’s restaurant scenes in the 1970s with French bistro Clichy. In the 80s, Emerald’s glamorous Club Mirage was the place to be.

Sophie and Emerald love a good Christmas ham, a glass of bubbly or three and a bit of festive banter, so were happy to front the first (and possibly only) instalment of The Spinoff Kitchen.

Two Freedom Farms champagne hams join the Gilmours, and they glaze the first one with an Irish-inspired number based on Melbourne chef Andrew McConnell’s recipe. Sophie used Sawmill’s The Doctor, but any black beer will do the trick.

The second glaze stars the Korean chilli paste gochujang, and the ingredients are:

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  • ½ cup gochujang
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons black coffee
  • ½ cup maple syrup – note that in the video it says ¼ cup, but Sophie recommends upping this to ½ cup for extra caramelisation
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Pair the Gilmours’ top tips with Freedom Farms’ ham prep 101:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Remove the ham from its packaging.
  3. Remove the brown protective tape from the bone (if present)
  4. If the ham has a hock, cut a line around the bone so you can remove the skin but leave it on the hock.
  5. To remove the skin, slide your fingers under the thick skin and wiggle them around to loosen it, taking care to leave as much soft white fat intact as possible (the fat is full of flavour… so please don’t be stingy!). Try to take the skin off in nice big pieces – and don’t throw it in the bin!
  6. 6. With a sharp knife, score the ham in a cross-hatch pattern (or, follow Sophie’s jazzy lead with diagonal lines) – you just want to cut thru the fat, not into the meat below. Scoring the ham looks pretty – but it also helps keep the glaze from sliding off the ham when you bake it!
  7. Pop the removed skin in your baking pan and place the ham on top of it. Add a little water to the pan… just enough to cover the skin without it touching the ham too much. This will stop any glaze drips burning on the pan, and keep your ham glossy.
  8. Glaze the ham with a glaze of your choice. We’d recommend basting the ham with extra glaze during cooking, and also spooning over some of the lovely rich pan juices to give it a nice sheen.
  9. Recommended heating time: 10 minutes per kg at 160°C to set the glaze. 20 mins per kg if you want to serve it hot.
  10. You can serve your ham hot or cold… but we’d recommend being mindful of how long it sits out on the bench or table when you’re not serving it. Practise good food hygiene!

This content was created in paid partnership with Freedom Farms. Learn more about our partnerships here


The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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