1 onion, halved
1 carrot, unpeeled, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
Small handful cloves
- Place the half ham into a large lidded saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Drain the water from the saucepan, add fresh cold water, the onions, carrots, celery, bay and peppercorns and bring to the boil once more. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer the ham and vegetables gently for 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz. (If your pan is not quite large enough to cover the joint completely, turn the ham over halfway through the cooking time.)
- Remove the ham from the water and set aside to cool for 15 minutes. (The cooking liquid can be strained and reserved for making soup for another time.)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6 and line a large roasting tin with kitchen foil.
- Use a small knife to remove the rind from the ham, leaving as much of the fat intact as possible. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, and push a clove into the centre of each 'X'.
- Place the ham into the foil-lined roasting tray, ensuring that the sides of the foil come halfway up the ham to contain any roasting juices.
- Roast in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then take the ham out.
- Return the ham to the oven for a further 10– 15 minutes, rotating the tin so that the opposite side of the ham faces the back of the oven.
- The ham is ready when the fat on top is glossy and golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if the top begins to look too brown. Remove the ham from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Pour any juices that have collected in the kitchen foil into a small pan, and warm through gently.
- Carve the ham, serve on a large platter and spoon over the warmed juices.