Three Christmas hams

For some weird reason, most of us only buy a whole ham at Christmas. The cured leg of this wonderful magical animal (thanks H. Simpson) should be a more frequent purchase for many reasons, none of which matter much beyond its deliciousness. A glazed ham is the glamour guest at any table. Peeling the skin back and painting something sweet and tangy over the fat before baking isn’t difficult but if time’s short, there are plenty of suppliers that will do it for you or at least sell you the glaze. It’s not compulsory to do this but as the following pics show with only the first one glazed, it certainly ramps up the presentation. So without further ado, I declare the festive season open and wish you all a very hammy Christmas.

Feather and Bone ham (Photo: Alan Benson)

Feather and Bone

If you care about the kind of life your pig lived before it became this salty, smoky feast before you, this is the place for you. This little piggy is guaranteed by Feather and Bone to have been entirely raised on chemical-free pasture without the use of hormones or antibiotics, – they visit all the farms their pigs come from to check. This delectable salt and sugar-brined beauty is lightly smoked and contains the minimum level of nitrite. (AUD $31 per kilo)

Address: 8/10-14 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville. Telephone: +61 2 9818 2717

Kingsmore Meats ham (Photo: Stephanie Clifford-Smith)

Kingsmore Meats

This little cutie weighing in at 2.8 kilos is the leg of a suckling pig and Kingsmore Meats sells them as fast as the sows can deliver them. The pasture-raised Berkshire piglet from Emerald Hill in the Hunter Valley is cured in a mixture of orange and mango juices, brown sugar and salt and is ultra smoky thanks to 40 minutes over smouldering hickory. The appeal of the mini leg is it still looks impressive but better suits a smaller festive gathering. (AUD $150 per leg)

Address: 61-71 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery. Telephone: +61 2 9693 5307

Woolworths ham (Photo: Stephanie Clifford-Smith)

Woolworths (Australia-wide)

Triple smoked over Australian hardwood this very moist ham has good flavour which is more intensely smoky around the edges. It’s a premium Woolies line and has been certified free range by Australian Pork. Their definition is that the pigs are kept permanently outdoors for their entire life with shelter from the elements provided, furnished with bedding. There was no information easily available about nitrate levels, hormone or antibiotic use. (AUD $14 per kilo)

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