Christmas cooking: Apricot and Ginger Ham and Cranberry Sauce

Apricot and Ginger Ham or Loin Bacon

  • About 8 lbs 12oz/4.5kg ham or loin bacon
  • 2 litre bottle ginger beer
  • 2 bay leaves 6 black peppercorns
  • 26 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Jar apricot jam


  1. Soak the ham or bacon in cold water overnight. If using a smoked ham soak for 24 hours changing the water twice.
  2. Pour away the soaking water and place the ham in a large pot. Add the ginger beer bay, leaves peppercorns , and  6 of the cloves. Top with enough water to cover the ham. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 ½ hours topping up with water as it cooks
  3. Heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 6. When the ham is cool enough to handle discard the cooking liquid and pat the ham dry . With a small sharp knife pare the rind away from the ham leaving a layer of fat attached to the meat. Score the fat in a diamond  pattern and stud all over with the remaining cloves. Mix the ginger and jam and brush the mixture over the ham. Roast for 1 hour until golden.


Cranberry Sauce 

Ann says ; This adds brilliant colour to your Christmas table

Takes 30 min


  • 250g /9oz fresh cranberries
  • 4 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 star anises
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200ml /7floz red wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15g /½ oz butter


Put the cranberries, sugar, star anises, cinnamon stick and red wine in a small saucepan and heat gently for 25 min until the cranberries have burst.

Season well and stir in the butter.