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Hackney Ham (the best Christmas ham you'll ever have!)


We have been trying lots of different recipes for glazed ham recently, in the run up to Christmas, and this one really delivers on flavour!

Always keen to support local businesses we came across a fabulous new drink called Dalston Cola, which is made just down the road from us. Unlike regular Cola (which is basically a bunch of sugar and additives), Dalston Cola is all natural (like our dressing) and has some wonderful aromatics and ingredients - including star anise, lavender, and cinnamon, which ,when paired with salty gammon, bring a lovely Christmassy flavour to this ham recipe. 

If you are looking for ideas for Christmas presents, and you like to support local producers I would thoroughly recommend purchasing a Hackney Hamper for a friend. The hampers are full of very special food and drink products - all made in the fair borough of Hackney. You will find both Dalston Cola and Gregor's Dressing in there along with lots of other goodies!


So, one dreich, drizzly day we went to meet the lovely Duncan who very generously armed us with bottles of his Cola to try out some recipes. To follow is our favourite and we believe you will love it. The first time we tried it we made enough for six people and ate the lot (forgetting to take any pictures!)

This time I took pictures but just on my phone so, unfortunately, they are not very clever.

To Feed Four (Simply double for 8)


  • 1-1.2kg mild cure gammon joint
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 2 plump juicy oranges 
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3 bottles of Dalston Cola
  • 1 pouch of Gregor's Umami Dressing & Marinade
  • 4 tablespoons of demerara sugar
  • small handful of peppercorns
  • cloves (optional)


First zest the two oranges and juice one of them. Reserve the zest and juice for later.

Next put the gammon (skin side down) in a pot. Snuggle the onion, oranges (cut in half or quarters), star anise, cinnamon, and peppercorns around the gammon then pour over the Dalston Cola. It should look something like this...


Bring the concoction up to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for and hour to an hour and a quarter till cooked. Remove the ham from the liquid and allow to cool.

Next, to make the glaze, put the Gregor's dressing, orange juice, orange zest and 3 tablespoons of the demerara sugar into a small saucepan and heat. and reduce by about a third. It should be dark and quite 'treacley' - but don't worry if it's not too thick as next you want to put it into the fridge for ten minutes or so to cool down. It will thicken during this process!

It should look like this prior to going into the fridge!

Put your oven on to heat at 220-240, ready for the glazed ham to go in.

Now that your ham has cooled you want to remove the tough outer layer of skin, leaving a thin layer of fat intact. Try not to cut into the flesh if possible. With a sharp knife score quite large diamond shapes into the fat. If you are using cloves you can now stud the fat with them.

Ok, so this doesnt look terribly appetising, but I can assure you the end result is amazing!


Now take your thickened glaze out of the fridge and pour half of the mixture over all the ham. Sprinkle the final one tablespoon of demerara sugar on top of the glaze and put in your hot oven for fifteen minutes.

This is what the ham will look like after fifteen minutes.

Now, all you need to do is pour the remaining glaze over the ham and pop it back in the oven for a further fifteen minutes till golden and sticky. Sadly, which should have been the oustanding picture on this blog to show you how wonderful the ham was, I failed to get a decent piture. Sod's law, but this will give you an idea (albeit an out of focus one!)

This is lovely cold the following day in sandwiches - but I doubt any of you will be able to resist the wonderful, aromatic, sticky goodness that is Dalston Ham!

A huge thankyou to Duncan from Dalston Cola for helping to make this happen!