Get in the festive spirit by roasting up Mrs Mackie’s decadent Christmas ham, as served at Downton Abbey.
Mrs Mackie was the cook at Highclere Castle circa 1930. Today, most people know Highclere as Downton Abbey. We’ve given Mrs Mackie’s wonderfully decadent Christmas recipe, from Lady Fiona Carnarvon’s new book, Christmas at Highclere, a modern twist. Champagne of course screams Christmas and celebration but any sparkling wine will do, such as Prosecco, cava or an English sparkling wine. Why not celebrate the start of Christmas by inviting some friends round, roasting your ham and having a glass of festive fizz! For a more traditional recipe, try Gordon Ramsey’s honey-glazed ham recipe.
- For the ham
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of parsley
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 Christmas ham, bone out, about 3kg (6-7lb)
- 1 litre (13⁄4 pints) cider
- For the glaze
- 3tbsp golden syrup
- 5tbsp Dijon mustard
- A splash of Champagne or sparkling wine
- Cloves, to garnish
Heat the oven to 240C/Gas 9.
Spread the onions and herbs in a large roasting tin to make a trivet and place the ham on top. Pour over the cider and wrap the whole tin in a double layer of foil.
Put the roasting tin into the oven for 20 mins, then turn the heat down to 120C/ Gas 1⁄2 and cook the ham for 8 hrs.
Remove the ham from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Transfer the ham to a chopping board. Discard the onions and any leftover cider.
Peel away the top layer of skin from the ham and use a sharp knife to score the fat in a criss-cross pattern. Line the roasting tin with foil and return the ham to the tin.
For the glaze, mix the golden syrup, mustard and Champagne together and brush over the ham. Stick the cloves into the fat where the score lines cross.
When hot, bake the ham for 30-40 mins, until it has taken on a deep golden colour. Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins before serving.
Increase the heat of the oven to 200C/Gas6. When hot, bake the ham for 30-40 mins, until it has taken on a deep golden colour. Remove the ham from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 mins before serving.
Top tip for making Downton Abbey’s decadent Christmas ham
Make the ham the day before Christmas Eve and serve it over the holiday period.