Recipe: Ham in Cherry Coke

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Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.

Nigella Lawson is a British bestselling author of several books, including Feast: Food to Celebrate Life.  She first shared this recipe for Ham in Cherry Coke on December 18, 2004.

Keep reading for the full recipe…

Ham in Cherry Coke
Serves 8

  • 5-6 lb boneless mild cure ham
  • Approximately six 12-oz cans Cherry Coke
  • 1 onion


  • Approximately 16 whole cloves
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cherry jam
  • 1 tsp pimenton dulce or smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  1. Put the ham snugly into a large saucepan (you really need the tightest fit you can, so that you don-t have to use lots of Coke to cover it later) and fill with cold water. Put the pan on the heat and bring to the boil, then drain ham into a colander. Wash the ham under the tap and rinse the saucepan before returning the ham to the pan. This will get rid of some of the saltiness. Or just soak overnight, as above.
  2. Add the Cherry Coke and the onion, halved, to the ham and if the liquid doesn-t cover it then add some water. Put back on the heat and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and partially cover the pan. Cook for approx. 2-2 1/4 hours.
  3. When you are ready to glaze the ham, preheat the oven to 450F. Remove the ham from the liquid, reserving it for later, and sit the ham on a board. Strip off the rind, and a little of the fat layer if it-s very thick, and cut a diamond pattern into the remaining fat with a knife in lines about 3/4 inch apart. Stud each diamond with a clove.
  4. Put the jam, pimenton dulce and red wine vinegar into a saucepan and whisk together over a high heat, bringing it to the boil. Let the pan bubble away so that the glaze reduces to a syrupy consistency that will coat the fat on the ham.
  5. Sit the ham in a roasting pan on a layer of aluminum foil, as the sugar in the glaze will burn in the oven as it drips off. Pour the glaze over the diamond-studded ham and then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the glazed fat has caught and burnished. Take the ham out of the oven and return it to the carving board to rest before you carve it.