How to cook gammon with honey and cloves

Updated July 18, 2017

Honey glazed gammon joint is not only a Christmas favourite, it is also a treat for your family year-round. While ham is the whole, raw leg that is later cured, gammon is the leg cut from the side of a pig which has already been cured. Weighing up to 10 kg, a whole gammon is usually found cut into smaller, more practical joints. The middle gammon, or filet end, is the best joint for roasting as it yields the largest, cleanest slices. The middle gammon is the top half of the leg and generally weighs between 2 and 3 kg. It can be cooked either on or off the bone for ease of carving.

Place the joint in a stock pot full of water and leave to soak overnight to remove the excess salt from curing, changing the water at least once.

Calculate the cooking time by allowing 20 minutes per 500 g. Place the joint on a trivet in the stock pot. Add several cloves, the bay leaves and 2 litres of water. Bring the water to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer until cooked. A skewer pushed into the centre of the cooked joint should give way and feel firm but not rubbery.

Cool the joint in the pot, then carefully remove it to cut away the skin, leaving behind a layer of fat. Using a knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern and place a clove in the centre of each diamond, pressing down firmly.

Place the joint in a foil lined baking pan. Combine the honey, orange rind and juice. Baste the joint with the honey and orange mixture.

Roast the joint at 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes. Serve hot or cold.


If serving cold, continue to baste the joint with the glaze while it cools. You can substitute mustard or apple juice for the orange rind and juice to create a different flavoured glaze.


Be certain to let the joint cool sufficiently before removing it from the stock pot to avoid burning yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Middle gammon joint
  • Large stock pot
  • Trivet
  • 2 handfuls of cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Knife
  • Baking foil
  • Baking pan
  • 3 tbsp/45 ml of honey
  • Grated rind and juice of one orange
  • Basting brush
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About the Author

An American writer living in the United Kingdom, Christy Mitchinson began writing professionally in 2000, during her career in laboratory science, pathology and research. She has authored training materials, standard operating procedures and patient/clinician information leaflets. Mitchinson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing with The Open University.