In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Caribbean Christmas Ham.

Christmas ham is a must in just about every pork eating home in the Caribbean. There are many who choose not to dine in the swine, but I refuse to be prejudice against this wonderful meat, so you know I had to share this wicked recipe. I fondly recall the ham sandwiches our mom would have ready for us at breakfast on Christmas morning as she had other delectable goodies going in the oven and stove. Speaking about ham, don’t forget to check out the chow chow recipe I shared a few days back.

 You’ll Need…

Ham (smoked/bone in) * about 8lbs
5 sprigs thyme
8 cloves
2 scallions

1 cup pineapple juice
1 table spoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/2 cup brown sugar (golden)
2 table spoon honey
pinch of cinnamon

Dressing the ham when glazing…

5-8 slices of pineapple
10-15 cloves
tooth picks for securing the pineapple slices

Note: If using a shoulder ham with a fat cap on the top, be sure to place that side up when roasting. As the fat melt it will keep the ham nice and juicy.

If your ham is encased in a cloth mesh be sure to leave it on at this point, but you’ll have to remove it before get it in the oven. Give the ham a rinse (btw I used a smoked leg), then place it in a deep pot. Cover with water, add the scallions, cloves and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle boil and cook for about 30 minutes. This will help remove some of the smoky impurities and infuse it with the herbal notes.

Drain and get ready to finish cooking in the oven. Set your oven to 350F and you’ll be using the lower rack. Remove the cloth mesh if your ham is covered in one, then wrap the entire ham in tin foil and place in a roasting tray. On average you’ll need to cook for 20 minutes per pound.

* Please use a roasting pan with a rack, so you can add a couple cups of water to the pan without the ham sitting directly in it. If you find that the water dries out before it’s fully cooked, do add a cup or 2 more. This will help keep the ham moist.

As we wait for the ham to roast evenly, lets prepare the glaze. In a sauce pan add all the ingredients mentioned above, bring it to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes. Remember to whisk it so the sugar melts and everything is blended.

When you ham is fully cooked (use the 20 minutes per pound guide), it’s time to dress it up and start the glazing process. Trim off the skin and most of the fat (a little good), then stick in the cloves in a pattern evenly. Attach slices of the pineapple with the toothpicks and hit it a good dose of the glaze (I used a brush). Then place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Repeat the glaze a couple more times.. brush and place in the oven for 10 minutes. You will start getting a lovely shiny finish on the ham, the slices of pineapple will start getting lovely caramelized edges and the entire kitchen will have a lovely aroma. Remember to brush on the glaze evenly. For additional color I turned on my broiler (about 450 – 500 F)  and allowed the ham to sit in there for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it as the high heat can burn it very fast.

* You’re free to add as many layers of glaze as you like. For me.. 3 layers was enough.

Allow the ham to rest (cover in tin foil) before slicing. I assure you this will be the best ham you’ve ever had or serve… don’t be surprised if your kids start giving you unexpected hugs and your “special” someone may even get frisky.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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  1. Lou-Ann
    December 24, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Hi Chris,
    Tried this method and the ham was delicious. I am wondering how to adjust the cooking time if the ham is already fully cooked. Thanks.

  2. Nate
    December 25, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Thank You! It turned out great! Delicious!

  3. Richard T
    April 11, 2015 / 8:51 am

    I come back to this page over and over and over and over again. This recipe makes a delicious ham. Thank you!

  4. trinibynature
    December 24, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    Maaaaan thats how my mother used to do it…then stew it..we used to eat it with home made bread and sweet bread.

  5. June 16, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    This ham is awesome the best Ive ever had, my husband and I do it every chance we get.
    Thanks Chris your recipes are inspiring

  6. Sandra
    December 24, 2013 / 11:25 am

    I have always cooked a Christmas ham,more from memory than a recipe but I can say this time the smell is to die for and can’t wait to cut into the finished product! If my gran was alive I’m sure she would be pleased.

  7. Edith
    January 16, 2013 / 5:19 pm

    Chris i tried the ham and i can say it was the bomb keep updating me i love those recipes.

  8. Judith
    December 29, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    I tried the ham. First time cooking ham. It is so delicious. Thanks Chris

  9. Marva
    December 28, 2012 / 8:40 pm

    I will surely try this method….sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing – Marva

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