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Barbecued Ham with a Spiced Beer Glaze

Barbecued Ham with a Spiced Beer Glaze

We often have a glazed ham over the Christmas period as it gives endless delicious meal options. It makes a simple yet impressive centrepiece to a Christmas dinner and here I have taken advantage of the ubiquitous large, covered barbecues by glazing the ham al fresco.

As barbecue temperature can vary, if yours doesn’t have a temperature gauge, you might want to invest in a small oven thermometer. If not, don’t panic, as it won’t hurt if the precooked ham is not fully reheated, but make sure you watch it in case it burns. If you don’t have a covered barbecue cook the ham in a 180°C oven and reduce the beer quantity to 300ml.


5kg-6kg cooked ham on the bone (I used Freedom Farms precooked free-range ham on the bone)
3 star anise
4 cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup dark brown sugar
600ml dark beer (I used Harringtons Big John Special Reserve)

Heat the barbecue to 180°C. Carefully slice under the rind of the ham at the base then carefully slide your fingers between the ham rind and the fat layer. The rind will come away easily, but can tear so work slowly, gently forcing your fingertips between the layers. You need to retain as much fat as possible.

Using a sharp knife, score the fat in diagonal lines 3cm apart. Repeat from the other side of the ham to create a diamond pattern. Place the ham in a baking dish large enough to hold the ham but able to fit in the barbecue.

Grind the star anise, cloves and fennel seeds to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Place in a bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and sugar and mix in just enough beer to form a thick paste. Set aside.

Pour the remaining beer over the ham. Place on the barbecue, cover and cook for 40 minutes, basting with the beer a few times throughout cooking.

Take the ham off the barbecue and carefully smear the sugar paste all over the scored fat. Return to the barbecue and cook for a further 30 minutes or until golden, basting halfway through.

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