Cooking time: 40 minutes
As its name suggests, this Christmas ham is a dish served over the holiday season in the French West Indies. In the last century, for reasons of preservation, the ham arrived on the islands salted and dried, and it required several days to desalt it. Today, hams are available already cooked, which considerably shortens the preparation time.
Christmas ham is a whole, usually pre-cooked, ham that is caramelized with sugar cane and flavored with onion, garlic, wild chives ("cives"), cloves, chili, salt, pepper, and especially slices of caramelized pineapple. The recipe may be varied and include rum, parsley, cinnamon or orange.
At Christmas, it is the centrepeice of the meal, served with rice, mashed yams or a chayote gratin.
Enjoyed for its sweet-savory flavors, the ham can also be served as a first course or appetizer, paired with a coconut punch or shrubb.
- The proportions are left to individual taste. Chop the onion, cives and chili.
- Add a pinch of quatre-épices spice blend and combine.
- Score the ham rind in a criss-cross pattern and place in a roasting pan.
- Put the stuffing into the cuts using a knife blade.
- Sprinkle the ham with cane sugar.
- Cover with pineapple slices.
- Brush everything with pineapple syrup.
- Bake the ham for 30 minutes at 200° C/400° F, then for 10 minutes on broil. During the cooking time, it is recommended that you baste the ham at regular intervals with the sweet pan juices.
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Photo: ID 38947721 / azazel / MSCOMM
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