There is nothing quite like a freshly roasted leg of ham to celebrate the festive season. This ham recipe starts with a pickled leg of pork roasted until the skin crackles, smoked and then glazed with a sweet cherry glaze.
Prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking over medium heat (190° to 230°C).
With a sharp knife cut the rind down each side of the pork, around the knuckle, and down the centre to free it on all sides, ensuring that you have cut right through the rind to the fat, but not into the flesh.
Place the pork on to the cooking grill. If the edges of the pork are hanging over the direct zone (above the fire), shield the sides with aluminium foil. Roast the pork over indirect medium heat for 2½ hours to blister the skin.
Place the pork on to the cooking grill. If the edges of the pork are hanging over the direct zone (above the fire), shield the sides with aluminium foil. Roast the pork over medium heat for 2½ hours to blister the skin.
Combine all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and place over high heat on the stove top; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Blitz the glaze in a food processor until smooth.
If using a gas barbecue with a smoker box, soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
Once the pork has cooked for 2½ hours and the skin has hardened and blistered, remove the skin with tongs. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the flesh, as the ham flesh will dry out. The skin can be discarded or eaten.
Now that the skin has been removed, you can add smoking woods to the barbecue to smoke the ham. If using a premium gas barbecue, set up the barbecue with a universal smoker box, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and add soaked wood chips to the smoker box. If using a charcoal barbecue, add two to three wood chunks to the charcoal. Continue to cook the ham for a further 30 minutes to 1 hour before glazing.
After 30 minutes to 1 hour, using a basting brush, apply a generous amount of the glaze over the ham, decorate with the star anise, securing with toothpicks if needed and continue to cook for 1 hour, glazing the ham every 20 minutes.
Once the ham is cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 68°C, remove the ham from the barbecue. The internal temperature will continue to rise 3° to 6°C while it’s resting. Leave to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
The final doneness temperature for cooking ham is 71°C.