Easy Christmas Ham

by Maureen on December 27, 2013

Easy Christmas Ham

Did you have a nice Christmas feast?  Most Australians eat a cold Christmas lunch/picnic because it’s usually so dastardly hot nobody wants anything else.  But… those of us who were raised on cold Christmases need just a bit of a reminder of days gone by and this is where my easy baked ham comes in.

John asked what I was serving for Christmas lunch since we had less than 12 hours to prepare for it.  I gave him the usual list of dishes that I know his family likes and he said, “But what about you?”

“I’d like a ham, but we could serve it cold if you like,” I said.

With not many hours to plan, I used my mother’s go-to recipe that couldn’t be easier and everyone loved it.  I cooked the same thing for Thanksgiving and there were no complaints.

My mother’s secret is pineapple.  She always served ham with grilled pineapple slices and one day I found out why.  She opened the can, put the juice into a saucepan with a cup of brown sugar and cooked it until it was reduced by half and was syrupy.  That’s it.

Easy Christmas Ham

I removed the rind from the ham, scored it and put a whole clove in the center of each diamond shape and then basted with the sauce and into the oven he went.  I added just enough water to the bottom of the pan to keep the glaze that dripped off from burning. Hams I buy are fully cooked so they only need to be glazed and warmed through until they look beautiful.

John’s dad has trouble with arthritis and complete numbness in his right hand, so John cheerfully peeled the prawns so that lunch wouldn’t take a year to finish.  With the prawns and ham we had deviled eggs, tossed salad, potato salad, spicy crunchy salad, homemade rolls and grilled pineapple rings.  It was a lot less than a Northern Christmas dinner but in this heat, it was a lovely meal.

Easy Christmas Ham Recipe

For dessert we had a pavlova topped with whipped cream, sliced fresh mango, kiwi fruit and passion fruit.  Nobody left the table hungry.  Pavlova topped with whipped cream and mangoWhat was on  your Christmas menu?  Are you still stuffed like we are?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz December 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

Looks like an amazing Christmas feast to me! We had a pork tenderloin, then we celebrated my oldest’s birthday today with stuffed chops and a birthday cake. Glad I’m in my stretchy yoga pants :)


John@Kitchen Riffs December 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

We did a turkey for Christmas – our traditional favorite. Your ham looks great. Have you ever tried cooking/smoking it on a kettle grill (like a Weber)? It can be wonderful! And I’d think perfect for Christmas in your climate. And yes, I’m totally stuffed. And happy. ;-)
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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

That’s wonderfully easy Maureen! You can’t argue with simplicity like that can you? :) And I love pavlova, it’s such a perfect Christmas dessert for our weather :D
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Monet December 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

For the first time, we went out to brunch at the Broadmoor. It was delicious and relaxing…and I had some really delicious ham! Yours looks lovely though, and I’ll have to find a reason to make it soon!


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic December 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

The pavlova looks beautiful. I am still stuffed from all the Christmas food, too :)
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Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Wonderful menu, I like the idea of a pavlova for dessert (I saw Lorraine’s as well)!


mjskit December 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I can’t take my eyes off that ham! I haven’t had a Christmas ham in years. Now I want one. :) It was just Bobby and I this year but we still spent the day cooking. Our menu was a leg of lamb, curry spiced carrots and wild rice with fig preserves. A very memorable meal and a wonderful day! Hope you’re holidays are still going strong!
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A_Boleyn December 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm

The potato salad looks delicious. And you had cold shrimp and deviled eggs. So many great things. The Pavlova looks huge … too sweet for me though.

PS: My ham was good too. :)
A_Boleyn recently posted..Holiday Ham


Eva Taylor December 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm

That meal sounds and looks delightful! We usually have turkey on Christmas Eve with my family (although my dear Mom always made a fish as well) and a turkey Christmas Day with my husbands family. it’s been getting cold here but fortunately we have power with no damage to the house. Apparently there are still over 100,000 households without power in Toronto. Our friends just got theirs back yesterday after being out 6 days.
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Trevor December 28, 2013 at 2:32 am

I really do prefer ham cold at a buffet like this. Beautiful and I love that it finds its way into so many dishes AFTER the buffet as well. Merry Christmas Mo and John! XO, T.


Judy @Savoring Today December 28, 2013 at 3:30 am

What a wonderful feast you put together, Maureen ~ Merry Christmas! I am so with you on the pineapple rings, they are perfect with ham.
We too had ham as part of a family gathering a couple of days before Christmas, the leftovers were then designated for Christmas day so I didn’t have to cook or do anything but put a puzzle together and watch movies with the fam. It was fabulous. Today I am making ham & bean soup with what remains.


A_Boleyn December 28, 2013 at 3:41 am

Does the glaze on the ham affect the taste of the soup making it sweet? Or do you only use the bone?
A_Boleyn recently posted..Holiday Ham


Maureen December 28, 2013 at 8:08 am

The meat isn’t sweet – if anything the cloves add more flavor. I do use the bone to make soup and I’ve never had a problem.


A_Boleyn December 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thank you for the information. I guess I shouldn’t have tossed the bone after I cut off all the meat. Oh well, I have one from the last ham in the freezer already. :)
A_Boleyn recently posted..Holiday Ham


Maureen December 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm

I can see soup in your future!

Roberta December 28, 2013 at 4:45 am

What a wonderful spread ; the Perfect Christmas dinner.

My mom made the exact same recipe for ham…….with one small exception. She decorated the ham by putting half a pineapple slice, topped with half a maraschino cherry with the clove on top of each “square’ made by the scoring of the skin/fat. Looked so pretty.


Maureen December 28, 2013 at 8:07 am

fixed. :) Yes, my mother did that too. It was the style of the day in our time, wasn’t it?


Hotly Spiced December 28, 2013 at 6:37 am

No matter the heat, we always have hot meat on Christmas Day – no cold cuts allowed. And my mother is allergic to seafood so there’s not a prawn in sight either. We do have cold salads though but crispy duck fat potatoes served piping hot are also on the menu. We don’t do a steamed Christmas pudding – that’s taking it too far. I don’t know how anyone could eat steamed pudding in the heat. I think you put on an amazing variety of foods and dishes given you had so little time to prepare. I’ve had ham glazed with pineapple juice and brown sugar and it’s delicious xx


Lizzy (Good Things) December 28, 2013 at 6:47 am

Groan, will you stop talking about food already…. Yes, I am still stuffed to the gills… because my daughter came for a Christmas Eve feast, in the European fashion; then Peter and I celebrated a Christmas Day lunch together; and then after Christmas comes my birthday on Boxing Day, with another feast at my daughter’s place. And today I’m catching up with friends for yum cha… gah! As soon as the holidays are over with I’m going to the gym. Love your feast Maureen! Everything looks delicious. Happy new year to come xox


Maureen December 28, 2013 at 8:06 am

LOL you silly, it’s a food blog. I can’t talk about shock absorbers. :)


HappinessSavouredHot December 28, 2013 at 8:05 am

Yum! That kind of ham is the best!

And dessert looks amazing.

To read and see what we had for Christmas, you can always visit my blog (click on my name).

Can’t wait to read you again! :-)


Hannah December 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

Nope, my family is Australian trhough and through for generations, and we always do the hot turkey, hot stuffing, roasted ham, roasted vegetables, steamed Chrissie pudding… Crazy. :P


Amy (Savory Moments) December 28, 2013 at 10:23 am

Maureen, your ham looks perfect! I hope you had a wonderful holiday! Somehow over the past couple of years, my husband and I started the tradition of Swedish meatballs with egg noodles, peas, and lingonberry sauce on Christmas Eve.
Amy (Savory Moments) recently posted..Spaghetti squash patties with cilantro-lemon yogurt


Maureen December 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Oh Amy doesn’t that sound like a smashing new tradition!


ChgoJohn December 29, 2013 at 12:28 am

Your ham looks fantastic, Maureen, and this sounds like the perfect Christmas lunch, no matter what hemisphere you happen to call home. Mom was a pineapple glaze cook, too, though ham was never served at Christmas. As I recall, she used the rings to cover the ham’s exterior and placed a maraschino cherry in each. Those cherries set the stage for an argument among us kids, as we fought over who got which one. :)
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Maureen December 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm

yes, that’s how my mother did it too. I think that’s overkill :)


Kim | a little lunch December 29, 2013 at 1:46 am

Maureen, I’m glad your food wishes (and memories) didn’t get lost in the shuffle — very thoughtful of your hubby to ask what you’d like — and your Pavlova (sigh…) was a beautiful, light, airy ending to a great meal.

We had ham, too (furnished by our guests) and I made small portions of “traditional” sides — mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes w/maple syrup, rice pilaf w/mushrooms & peas, etc. — a lil’ bit of everything and not a lot leftover (on purpose), except for ham. Gotta have ham “sammiches” the next day. ;)
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Maureen December 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

The ONLY reason to cook on a big holiday is to have the leftovers :)


Jackie@Syrup and Biscuits December 29, 2013 at 3:42 am

What a lovely meal, Maureen! I hope your Christmas was memorable.
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Abbe@This is How I Cook December 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Though I’ve never developed a fondness for ham, I’m sure if I did, yours would be wonderful! It looks like you had a fabulous spread and I would have stuffed myself to the gills with all of that! Sounds like you had a great day!
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Ramona December 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

What a cool meal… pun intended. :) I would love to enjoy this menu one Christmas… but I gotta be in Australia with the lovely warm weather. :)


Mary Frances December 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Like many of your fans, my mother made the same ham but decorated it with the pineapple slices too! Your ham looks magnificent!! I love ham and haven’t made one yet this winter. Need to do that….


Nuts about food December 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm

We were in the Alps and snowed in. It snowed so much we did not have electricity, heating or cell phone coverage for 24 hrs. This started on Christmas Day. We stuffed ourselves with ready made things like smoked salmon, foie gras and various cured meats and mountain cheeses, so no complaints and we left the table feeling extremelt full. Love the pineapple juice tip.


Helene D'Souza December 31, 2013 at 12:45 am

pineapple makes the ham for sure nice soft and I love the flavor of the fruit with ham. I wish I could get such a gorgeous piece of meat here! Maureen you just tempted me. :) Happy New year buddy
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Catherine December 31, 2013 at 3:18 am

Dear Maureen, Your Christmas feast looks delicious!! Blessings and hugs, Catherine xo


Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl January 1, 2014 at 1:14 am

Ham is our go to holiday food, we had it for Christmas and it was delicious. I’m going to save this recipe for the next time.. hopefully sooner than later!


mack smith January 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Hmm Christmas Ham looks very nice but in this year my Christmas was not going too well because the first time I was out of my home because of work that was too bad. At that time I was really missing my family.


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A_Boleyn December 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Soup is always in my future though I’m tempted to make a lobster bisque since I have my homemade seafood stock already made and Metro (one of the grocery chains) is selling lobster for $7.99 a pound. They’ll steam it for you for an additional $1 per pound. I can bring the freshly steamed lobster home, pick it and whip up a quick bisque.
A_Boleyn recently posted..Holiday Ham


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