Colin Fassnidge’s Christmas ginger beer-glazed ham

This is not your usual Christmas ham glaze. Asian spices, kaffir lime leaf and ginger beer makes a sticky, slightly Asian glaze, and pairs perfectly with a fresh fig and melon salad.

8kg whole leg ham on the bone
1 each rockmelon and honeydew melon, seeds removed, cut into wedges
8 figs, quartered
1 bunch basil, leaves picked
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs white wine vinegar
2 firmly packed cups (440g) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) soy sauce
5 whole cloves
2cm piece ginger, peeled, sliced
11/2 cups (375ml) ginger beer
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
1 cup (250ml) red wine
2 tsp mustard seeds

1. For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 40 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Set aside to cool completely. Strain glaze into a bowl, discarding solids.
2. Preheat oven to 150°C. Using a small sharp knife, cut around ham shank in a zigzag pattern, then carefully run knife under skin, around the edge of the ham.
3. Gently lift off skin in 1 piece by running your fingers between the rind and the fat. Discard skin, then score fat in parallel lines, 1cm apart. Baste fat with some of the glaze and place ham on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Roast ham, basting with remaining glaze every 20 minutes, for 2 hours or until caramelised.
4. Place the melons, fig and basil in a large serving bowl. Combine the mustard, oil and vinegar in a small bowl, season and drizzle over salad.
5. Slice the ham and serve with salad.

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