Holidays are always special in our family. That’s because they are the source of many wonderful memories.
We take turns hosting Christmas and Easter, and everyone looks forward to the food! Yes, we are a family of Jamaican food lovers who relish in the glory of home-cooked meals, especially celebration meals!
For Jamaicans a baked ham is a special dish, and usually only prepared at Christmas and Easter. When I was young, my grandmother would make her ham. In those times in Jamaica, ham was so salty it would have to be boiled to remove some of the salt before it could be finished in the oven. Today I don’t have to worry about that, instead it’s as easy as popping the ham in the oven and glazing it as it bakes.
The origin of baked ham on the Jamaican holiday table goes back to colonial times. The British brought their religious customs and the associated foods like the holiday ham at Easter and Christmas. Today, Jamaica is an independent country but its food culture is a melange of flavors brought to Jamaica from around the world.
That’s why in addition to baked ham, you’ll find curry goat, oxtail stew and curry chicken on our holiday… along with lots of complementary dishes to satisfy any self-respecting Jamaican food lover.
This recipe is featured in our FREE eBook Christmas – A world of flavors, available on 196 flavors.
Angela Lawrence considers herself a “foodie” who feels lucky to live in Toronto, a multicultural city that offers every cuisine imaginable. She is a communications executive with years of experience as a brand strategist and magazine editor, including leading custom magazines for Kraft Foods and the Home Depot. With Cook Like a Jamaican she is excited to be building a website that brings together her love of family, food, writing and photography! Angela is the Jamaican culinary expert for 196 flavors. You can read more about her on the exclusive interview she gave to 196 flavors.
- 4- lb ready-to-serve ham
- A few whole cloves
- 1 cup cranberry sauce , or strawberry or raspberry jam
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup brown sugar (if using cranberry sauce)
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- Remove wrapping from ham. Score fat in a diamond pattern and stud with cloves.
- Bake ham in a 325 F oven for 2 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 130 F.
- In a saucepan, stir together cranberry sauce or jam, orange juice, lemon juice (brown sugar if using cranberry sauce) and mustard. Simmer glaze uncovered for 5 minutes to thicken.
- During the last 30 minutes of baking the ham, glaze by spooning glaze sauce it over every 10 minutes.
- Any remaining sauce can be served on the side.