Tamarind, Allspice & Ginger Glazed Ham with Pineapple & Rum Relish

Add some sunshine to the festive season with this Caribbean inspired Christmas Ham with tangy and sweet tamarind, ginger and allspice. Ham works perfectly with pineapple and this easy relish is sweet, spicy and fruity with a little kick of rum – a great way to add some zing to your Christmas time meals. Tamarind imparts a sweet and sour taste and is often used in Caribbean and Indian dishes, the sauce is often infused with other spices which work well in this recipe, but you can use paste if you prefer. You can keep any leftover relish in a sterilised jar in the fridge. Serve with my winter slaw.


Put the gammon in a large saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Add the onion, carrot, bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice berries and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 2 hours, skimming off any surface froth or impurities when needed.

Meanwhile make the relish. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion until softened but not coloured. Add the ginger and chilli and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the spices and cook out for a minute. Add the sugar and stir, cooking until dissolved. Increase the heat and pour in the vinegar and rum and let it bubble for a minute. Add the pineapple and any of its juice, sultanas and orange zest. Season with the salt and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes or until reduced and jammy but still with plenty of texture. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/Gas6.

Drain the ham (saving the stock for a delicious soup!) and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Make the glaze, mix the tamarind sauce, mustard and ginger syrup together in a small bowl.

In a pestle and mortar smash the all spice berries, clove and cinnamon stick. Then place into a small processor with the sugar and blitz to form a spiced sugar.

Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from the ham, leaving plenty of fat. Score the fat in a criss-cross pattern, making sure you don’t cut down into the meat. Push the stem ginger pieces down into the fat and then stud the ham with the cloves. Put the ham in a foil lined roasting tin. Spread the tamarind and mustard paste over the surface of the ham. Then pack the spiced sugar on top.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden.  Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.



  • For the Ham
  • 2.5-3kg unsmoked horseshoe gammon joint
  • 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice/pimento berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • For the Glaze
  • 2 tbsp tamarind sauce/tamarind ketchup
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp stem ginger syrup, from a jar
  • 3 whole allspice / pimento berries
  • 1 clove
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • handful of cloves
  • 2 balls of stem ginger, from a jar, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • For the Relish
  • 1 small onion or 2 banana shallots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cm root ginger, grated
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Caribbean mild curry powder
  • 2 star anise
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 125g demerara or light soft brown sugar
  • 100ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp spiced rum (or orange juice)
  • 1 medium-large pineapple, peeled, cored, and flesh chopped into 1 cm chunks (you should get approx. 450-500g flesh) Reserve any juice
  • 40g sultanas
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ tsp sea salt