Christmas Kitchen: Two Person Spiced Cherry Glazed Ham

With the constant pressure to come up with new and exciting holiday recipes, I don’t share the recipes my family and I make and enjoy every Christmas as much as I’d like. Yes, Mummy’s Mince Pies, her Classic Cheese Straws, and our family stuffing recipe are non-negotiable, but it has been years and I’ve not actually shared the ham recipe we use almost every year, going back to whenever a new recipe we’ve fancied like trying has fallen short: say hello to my Spiced Cherry Glazed Ham.

Yes, I’ve shared a ham recipe before now, and yes like that one was essentially Nigella Lawson’s ham in coke with a chipotle chilli honey glaze, this is essentially her ham in cherry coke from one of my all time favourite cookbooks, Feast (ad). But I’m sharing it here because I’ve re-written the recipe and method slightly to suit a couple or a very small household. You see, as the ham was always for my Dad and I, with a big one we’d always struggle, especially once the turkey leftovers had arrived. And with just J and I, while we want some for sandwiches, and for a few plates of ham, egg and chips, I wanted to be able to cook a smaller ham for us both before going to our families, and I know I’m not alone.

My version, suiting a ham that comes in at roughly 1kg is a ham for the week: you’ll get a couple of very generous rounds of sandwiches and a couple of platefuls of meat to go with sides, but you won’t feel like you’re wading your way through it. And, can I say it is bloody delicious with a cherry jam, paprika and clove glaze? I’m already tempted to make another of these before December 31st hits!

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Two Person Spiced Cherry Glazed Ham

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Spiced Cherry Glazed Ham recipe suits a ham that is small enough to serve just two people for a week of generous sandwiches and leftovers, perfect for smaller families and couples to enjoy over the festive period!


  • 1.2kg-1.5kg (approx 3 lb) unsmoked gammon joint 
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1 litre (4 1/4 cups) full sugar cherry coke
  • 23 tbsp cherry jam
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • whole cloves


  1. Unwrap and untruss your ham and place it, skin side up in a large lidded saucepan where it will fit snuggly. Peel and halve the onion and place the halves in with the ham.
  2. Pour the cherry coke over the ham – add a little cold water if need be to make sure it is fully submerged. 
  3. Set over a high heat and bring to the boil. Then, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, with the lid on for 1 hour per kg of ham. Skim the scum off the top of the pan at 15 minute intervals until it stops appearing. 
  4. Remove the ham from the pan and discard the cooking liquid. Once it is cool enough to touch with a sharp knife score a diamond pattern into the fat. Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees (445 fahrenheit).
  5. Combine the jam, paprika and a splash of red wine vinegar in a small saucepan set over a medium high heat. Bring it to the boil, and allow to bubble away for 1 minute.
  6. Meanwhile, stud cloves into the points of all the diamonds in the layer of fat.
  7. Brush half the glaze over the clove studded fat and transfer the ham to a baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, brush with the rest of the glaze, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the fat and glaze are sticky, caramelised and burnished.


Small joints like this tend to arrive without the rind, but if it is still intact slice this off with s sharp knife, still leaving a good 1/2 cm of fat on the joint before cooking.