Tony O’Connell’s Top Ham Tips

Tony O’Connell from O’Connell’s Meats (Stall GR47-51) is a familiar face at the Market, having been here for more than 40 years. They smoke all of their hams in-house and offer a wide variety of styles including normal, double smoked, gammon and more. To ensure you get the most out of your hams, Tony has shared with us his top tips! 

Tony’s Top Ham Tips

  • Store ham in coldest part of fridge (approx 2 weeks once you have opened if you store correctly). ALWAYS refrigerate your ham.
  • If you are serving ham cold & it is a hot day – chill the serving plate first. Slice ham just before serving so it does not dry out.
  • Once you have opened your ham – discard the wrapping and store in ham bag. To store soak the ham bag in 4 cups water, 2 tbsp vinegar, wring out excess water – resoak bag every few days.
  • If you freeze your ham use moisture proof wraps or bags – when you thaw – place in a dish in the fridge (4-7 hours depending on size) or submerge in a water tight bag in cold water. (Approx 30 min per 500g) DO NOT thaw at room temperature. Don’t freeze for more than a few weeks as the ham will start to lose its flavour.

Glazing Your Ham

  • Place ham on a clean board, fatty side up, score just into layers of skin & fat – try not to cut into meat itself. If you use cloves to flavour & decorate – remove them before eating (if you don’t like cloves you can use bits of dried fig) – remember a little goes a long way!
  • Pre heat oven 160-180 C. cooking time is approx 10 mins per 500g or as per your chosen recipe.
  • Bake the ham in roasting pan, uncovered with half a cup of white wine, water or juice in the pan to stop it drying·& sticking to pan or foil base. SO MANY CHOICES OF GLAZE – Use a pastry brush to get a nice even glaze – Plum, Apricot, Peach, Raspberry, Marmalade, Lime….. Just Google your favourite.*** Sugar based glazes can bum on the surface – keep an eye on the colour – if it starts to tum brown or blacken quickly make an alfoil tent & cover the top of the ham while it finishes cooking – do not put foil straight on ham as it will stick to your glaze.
  • Baste ham every 20 mins -if you use a thermometer 71 C is when ham is done -remember to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone as the reading will not be accurate. If you are following a recipe it will give you cooking time.
  • Leave to sit 10-15 minutes before carving as the juices will redistribute making it firmer, juicier & easier to carve (ideally place foil over top during this sitting time). DO NOT pour pan drippings over the outside of sugar glazed hams as they won’t get in & can wash off your glaze
  • Use a long, sharp knife to carve.
  • Keep the bone & make wonderful pea & ham soup.

For more information on Christmas at the Market, click here. 

Adelaide Central Market