Spiced Beer Glazed Ham

This year I decided to try using beer to glaze our Christmas ham. Big success! 

I knew as soon as I mixed up the glaze ingredients in the saucepan that this was going to work well – flavoursome stout (dark beer) mixed with brown sugar and some great spices. Yum. 

I based this recipe around one that I saw on an advertisement in a food magazine. I can’t remember what the ad was trying to sell, (I think it was deli items), but I am certainly glad that I noticed it enough to see the recipe.

As I mentioned above, I used a stout as the base of the glaze. Any dark beer would work, even Guinness if you have it (or if it is the only dark beer you can find).

Ingredients – serves a lot of people:

  • 4kg/9 lb leg of ham on the bone
  • approx 30 whole cloves


  • 1 and 1/2 cups stout or other dark beer
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Take the ham out of its packaging, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Cut the rind around the thinner end of the leg and then remove the rind by running your fingers around the fatter edge and then slowly peeling it backwards.
  • Trim any excess fat from the ham, leaving about 1cm/less than half an inch of fat all over.
  • Score the remaining fat in a diamond pattern to allow the glaze to penetrate.
  • Put the ham into a large roasting tray.
  • Press a clove into the centre of each diamond.

  • Heat your oven to 190C/170C fan forced/370F.
  • Combine all the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Increase the heat to medium and simmer until the glaze becomes syrupy (about 5 minutes).

  • Spoon and/or brush about two-thirds of the glaze all over the ham (including on the underside).

  • Cook the ham for 45-50 minutes, basting with extra glaze about every 10 minutes. (If you do run out of glaze from the saucepan then you can use the glaze that you will find in the bottom of the baking tray.)
  • The ham is done when the glaze has turned a deep brown.
  • Serve in large slices with vegetables of your choice (I recommend mashed potatoes).
  • Enjoy!

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8 Responses to Spiced Beer Glazed Ham

  1. This glaze looks fantastic. I want to lick my computer screen….I would have never thought to have used beer on the glaze. I have used coke and ginger ale before as a marinade.Take Care

  2. Ning says:

    I might give my usual pineapple grazed Ham a miss this coming Christmas and try this dark beer recipe instead. Thanks

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