Christmas Ham

Christmas ham is a favorite in many households during the festive season. Rich, sticky glaze is slathered all over this juicy, tender ham. With caramelized brown sugar on the crust and an incredible flavor inside. You won’t buy store-bought ham one you tried this home-made recipe!

christmas ham with pineapple honey galze
Christmas Ham

As a kid, Christmas dinner is not complete without glazed ham. It usually serves as the centerpiece for our Noche Buena. This homemade ham has a hint of sweetness. Topped off with a sticky pineapple and honey glaze, this will fast become a tradition in your house too! The recipe requires some planning ahead if you want to serve it on Christmas eve because of the curing time. Is it worth the trouble of making your own ham? It definitely is! Seeing your own glazed ham gracing the dinner table will make you tap your own back and say “job well done”.

christmas ham cut thinly on a plate

As I said this recipe will require some patience. Mine took 7 days of curing making the meat flavorful and the fat doesn’t go rancid quickly. I used 2 1/2 kilos of Pigue (ham part) of pork but you can also use hock or pork loin for example. I suggest starting with 1 and 1/2 kilo of pork ham and using half of the ingredients listed. A smaller portion will make it easier for tying with twine. But if you’re confident, just go with what is given in the recipe and enjoy it. You will also need a kitchen blow torch to caramelize the brown sugar but you can also use the side of the knife by running it through fire and slightly touch it to the sugar. All in all, it’s not a difficult process and it is a guaranteed success!

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Tips for Christmas Ham

  • Use good quality fresh meat and not frozen.
  • Don’t get excited and cut the curing time pre-maturely.

Christmas Ham

Christmas ham is a favorite in many households during the festive season. Rich, sticky glaze is slathered all over this juicy, tender ham. With caramelized brown sugar on the crust and an incredible flavor inside.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Curing Time7 d
Total Time7 d 1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino, International
Keyword: christmas ham, ham recipe
Servings: 1 Christmas Ham
Author: Bebs Lott


  • 2 ½ kg Pork Ham Pigue
  • for curing
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 tbsp curing salt
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar

For boiling the ham

  • 1 ½ liters pure pineapple juice
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 pcs star anise
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 2 cups liquid from cooking the ham
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp honey

For brulée

  • ½ cup brown sugar


Curing the meat

  • Wash pork meat thoroughly in running water. Drain excess water and set aside.
  • In a container, combine salt, sugar and curing powder.
  • Place the meat in the container and rub the salt mixture until meat is fully coated.
  • Cover the container with a lid and place inside the fridge to cure for 7 days. Note: Turn the meat every day to even the curing.
  • After 7 days curing. Wash the meat in cold running water to remove the curing mixture.
  • Place the meat on a clean flat surface and tie with kitchen twine to make it round. When tying try to make it really tight without damaging the meat. First cut a piece of twine long enough to cover the meat. Tie it in the middle securely then take another twine and tie it crosswise. When this is done repeat the process of tying from the center to the edge of the meat.
  • In a large pot. place the meat and pour the pineapple juice and tip in the star anise, bay leaf, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil for 1 ½ hour or until soft and tender. Save the liquid for making the glaze later
  • Place the ham in a cooling rack and let it cool and dry.
  • Score the top of the ham diagonally with a sharp knife. Rub brown sugar on the top and side of the ham and caramelize the sugar using a kitchen torch.

Making the pineapple glaze

  • Using a saucepan. Pour 2 cups of the liquid you saved from boiling the ham. Add cornstarch and dissolve in low heat. Stir and let it cook until it thickens but still pourable. Add the Honey and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Set aside
  • Place the ham in a serving dish and pour the glazing on top. Serve and enjoy! Bon Appetit!


    1. Hi Rose,
      Thanks for the comment. If you mean the curing salt.
      Yes, you can just use rock salt and sugar but you need to extend the process to 10 days.
      But I can not guarantee the same outcome for the taste of the meat because curing salt intensifies the
      concentration of flavor for the meat. Good luck and let us know!

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