Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Christmas Ham Recipe

Christmas Gammon Photo : Karen E Photography

Christmas Gammon
Photo : Karen E Photography

Christmas Recipe Three
Pineapple & Cherry glazed Beer-poached
Christmas Ham

I’m ringing the changes and giving you two columns during December. They are about festive-season recipes so cannot be published on the last Saturday of the month as is usual. I shall showcase six recipes today and another six next Saturday - December 22, 2012. The format I have chosen is to highlight the 12 days before Christmas and start with what needs to be done first, working down to the last-minute items which have to be done on the day - the final preparations and putting everything together. African inspired, traditional recipes! I challenge one to get the traditional recipes correct before venturing off into the unknown. Nothing can be better than a chilled glazed gammon in this hot African sun.

Yields: 3kg Gammon


  • 3 kg Gammon
  • Court-Bouillon
  • About 4.5 litres Water (Chef’s note: water to cover the Gammon)
  • 5 Freshly picked Bay leaves (Chef’s note use one or two of the dried Bay leaves)
  • 500ml Beer
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Leek Stick
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 10 ml Whole Black Pepper corns
  • Glaze
  • 50 g Butter
  • 100 g Treacle Brown Sugar
  • 30 ml Dijon Mustard
  • Whole Cloves
  • 1 small tin Pineapple Rings
  • 1 small box Red Cherries
  • Toothpicks


  1. Put the gammon into a large pot with water to cover.
  2. Chop the onion, carrot, leek and celery. Add to the liquid above together with the rosemary and pepper to form a Court-Bouillon (A spiced aromatic liquor or stock used for cooking meats in. Food cooked in this liquid absorbs the flavours of the ingredients).
  3. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer (chef's note: on average for every 1kg of gammon, boneless, I suggest to simmer for about 40 minutes. With bone in, as in this case I suggest cooking for 45 minutes per 1kg). So this gammon we cooked for 2 hours and 25 minutes.
  4. Once cooked remove outer skin and score (chef's note: with a knife cut fat to form shallow incisions which could result in shapes; for instance: triangles).
  5. Glaze. Melt the butter and add treacle sugar and Dijon mustard.
  6. Glaze the Gammon, insert cloves in and around the meat. Finish by using toothpicks to attach pineapple and cherries into the gammon.
  7. Place in the oven at 180 ̊C for 40 minutes or until beautifully glazed. Baste (chef's note: a term meaning to lightly moisten meat while in the oven to prevent the outer surface from drying out) often.
  8. Allow to cool and serve.

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Hartford House, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
+27 33 263 2713