Home / Food & Drink / Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: Ham: Varieties And Terminology
Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: Ham: Varieties And Terminology

Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: Ham: Varieties And Terminology

The term ham is usually restricted to a cut of pork.  Ham can either be dry cured or wet cured. A dry cured ham has been rubbed in a mixture containing salt and a variety of other ingredients including sugar followed by a period of drying and aging.

Wet cured ham is cured with a brine followed by dry aging or smoking. It can also be cooked and served fresh which is the recipe we’re using here, for those of you adventurous souls who like a little challenge.  This recipe is simple yet fresh and full of flavour.

A lot of people stay away from pork products because of religious prohibitions.  Jewish, Muslim, Seventh-day Adventist and Rastafarian faiths dietary laws do not permit the consumption of ham. But during the festive season (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) the ham is a must have for those who crave the other white meat (pork not chicken).

There are a variety of names given to this cut of meat — Prosciutto, which is a must-have for all Italians, Virginia ham for Americans, Black Forest for Germans, Yorkshire for the English and, of course, West Indians, who are big on jerk.

Processed turkey, ham or chicken products are available.  Whatever is on your table this holiday season remember to serve it with a lot of love and garnish.


Honey Glazed Ham with pineapple relish and mixed berries 


1 leg or shoulder of fresh pork 10-15 lbs 

(can be procured from most butcher shops) 

Water for blanching 

6 bay leaves 

12 pimento berries 

2 tablespoons cloves 

4 tablespoons salt 

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 cups brown sugar

2 tablespoons malt vinegar 

2 tablespoons dry thyme 


Wrap meat in saran wrap (this prevents meat from tearing) and place in large stock pot, filled three quarters full with cold water. Add all the seasonings and cover with lid or foil paper. Blanch for one and a half hours. Remove from water and let cool. Can be done overnight and refrigerated. Core meat diagonally in one inch squares. Place cloves in grooves. Place on rack in baking pan and bake in oven at  350 degrees  F  for three and a half hours or until juices run clear.  Baste every half hour with honey cinnamon glaze.


Honey cinnamon glaze


1 cup honey

3 cups orange juice

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 

1 tablespoon allspice 

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg 


In a saucepan melt butter, add sugar and honey, bring to a boil and add all the other ingredients, stirring constantly for 5 minutes so as not to over flow.

If you are using smoked ham there is no need to blanch, just core the ham, place on rack in baking pan and roast in oven at 350 degrees F for one and a half hours, basting every half hour.


Pineapple relish with fresh berries 


1 can pineapple chopped 

1 pint raspberry

1 pint blackberry 

½ pint strawberry (cut in quarters)

2 cups pineapple juice 

2 cups brown sugar 

1 cup butter 

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (optional) 


In a saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar and pineapple juice, bring to boil. Add pineapple, berries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped parsley for colour.

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