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Recipe: Christmas ham

On a Swedish Christmas table, the centre of attention is not turkey, it's the ham.

It's made in three steps. Cured, boiled, and then roasted with a mustard topping.

When the ham has cooled down cut a slice and put it on a lightly buttered soft or dry bread. If you ask a Swede most of us would say that the sandwich isn't fulfilled unless you spread some mustard on the ham.

Not a Dijon because it will overpower the ham. Use instead a milder mustard of your choice.

The ham is usually around from just before Christmas to new years so if you haven't done yours yet, see my recipe below.

Step 1

3kg dry-cured ham joint

8 pcs allspice berries

2 bay leave

Put the ham in boiling water with the allspice and the bay leaves. The cooking time is estimated at about 1 hour/kilogram. A ham over 1kg adds 50 minutes for every additional kilogram. 1hr 50m for 2 kg. 2hr 40m for 3kg and so on.

Reduce heat to a simmer, do not boil. Feel free to use a thermometer. The Christmas ham is ready around 70 degrees.

Pick up the ham and let it cool. Discard the rind.

Step 2

1 boiled ham

2 tbsp wholegrain coarse mustard

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 egg yolk

3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs + some for sprinkling

1 tbsp light brown cane sugar


1ml ground clove

1ml ground allspice

1ml ground black pepper

2ml ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 225C. Mix the mustards and egg yolk together, then add the rest of the ingredients. The consistency should be a bit like porridge. Now brush the mixture on top of the ham, to cover any fat. Sprinkle over some breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Remove and cool completely before slicing and serving as part of the Christmas meal. Enjoy leftovers in sandwiches up until New Year’s Eve.

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