I received a box of Christmas foods from Creamline Dairies and I was asked to cook nice things with it, this Norwegian Juleskinke, or Christmas Ham is one of the nice things.
I’ve always had something of a fascination with all things Nordic, but in January I decided to put my money where my mouth is and learn Norwegian. It’s quite a fun thing to do, quietly learn a language by yourself. I’m confident that I could now tell you that a wolf is on the table and that the cook has several knives. I don’t think for one second that I yet capable of holding a whole conversation in Norsk, but it’s fun to try.
Alongside the language, I’ve been trying to watch Norwegian films and TV and given my slightly greedy interest in food, I’ve been reading up on that too. Each Christmas I usually make a ham for Christmas Eve, and it does us for cold cuts for many days after. This year I decided to give my Christmas a bit of a Norwegian twist and make Juleskinke – Norwegian Christmas ham.
Last week I received a Christmas food box from Creamline Diaries. I chose a selection of foods from their Christmas range and it was delivered direct to my door, with no queuing or faff of any kind. The box is packed with brilliant locally produced food from independent producers. The meat is from my local butchers, the bread is from a fantastic local baker and fresh fish from the fishmongers. The fruit and veg are fresh from the market each day and you can even stock up your store cupboard.
My Creamline box was brilliant and contained pretty much everything I needed to make this lovely festive Norwegian Juleskinke. It’s just the thing if you want to shop local, but don’t really have the time to visit all your local shops, or if you just can’t carry all your shopping home. It’s also a boon at Christmas, saving you slogging around a supermarket, or queuing up for ages in the cold outside the local independent shops you love best, who are all part of this scheme anyway!
I ordered the gammon half joint (1.5kg). Gammon has already been salted or brined, so if you buy gammon instead of pork, you can skip the first stage of the recipe. If you want to do the whole thing from scratch, then you’ll need to buy a boneless leg of pork!
Because we are a small household, we used a small joint of meat. This recipe is fine for up to 2kg of meat, any more than that and you’ll need to be doubling your recipe.
Norwegian Juleskinke, or Christmas Ham
1 boneless leg of pork
250g dark brown sugar
Dark beer, 2 bottles
Coriander seed, 1 tablespoon
Fennel seed, 1 tablespoon
Black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon
For the glaze
60g dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 satsuma, or some fresh orange juice
To make your Norwegian Juleskinke, or Christmas Ham
Skip this step if using gammon instead of pork. Rub the leg of pork with 3 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. I put the meat in a large mixing bowl and covered it in the fridge, leaving it for 24 hours.
In a large pan, put the beer, sugar, salt, coriander seed, fennel seed and peppercorns and bring to the boil. Leave the liquid to cool fully. It’s best to do this the night before you need it, so it’s fully cool.
After 24 hours, take the meat and rinse some of the salt and sugar rub off. Once rinsed, place the meat in the spiced beer mixture. Pop this in the fridge and leave it for at least 24 hours. It will be fine for up to two weeks, making sure you turn it every day. I left mine for three days.
When you’re ready to cook the ham, put the meat in a large pan of unsalted water and simmer for around 4 hours.
Once cooked through, remove it from the heat and leave it to cool slightly so you can touch it without burning your fingers. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a diamond pattern into the fat. Pre-heat your oven to 180°.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, dry mustard, paprika and cinnamon together. Juice your satsuma (or use a few drops of orange juice) into the spices and combine so it makes a thick paste which you can spread. Rub the paste all over the meat until it’s well covered. Place the meat into a roasting tin or oven proof dish and push a whole clove into each cross section of the diamond pattern.
Put the ham in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until you’re happy with the colour of the ham. It should go dark and the glaze should be a little bit crispy and nice. Once cooked, remove from the oven, slice and serve.
You can eat it hot, which we do with buttery mash and vegetables, or it’s great cold with pickles and crusty bread. It keeps for up to two weeks in the fridge. We sometimes slice it and put it in portions in the freezer for a rainy day too.
Merry Christmas, or as they say in Norway, God Jul!
Creamline also offer a £10 credit for new customers which can be redeemed by visiting creamline.co.uk/register and adding the code GLASS10.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like to try my Norwegian Inspired Cauliflower Cheese Soup.