When our neighbour Michael was a young man back in the 1940's he often sat in the branches of the apple tree in his garden and watched the Dundalk to Carlingford Steam Train taking young men to Greenore Port. There they would board the steamer to Liverpool or Holyhead and the chances are they would never again return to Ireland.
The war is over, the railway is no more, and Michael is a ripe old age. But the tree is still giving him the best Irish heritage apples every year. This year he gave us a bag and we used it to make this ham glaze. We also added local gooseberries, Irish whiskey, lots of spices, apple cider vinegar, and a very decent measure of our local Cooley Whiskey in every bottle.
There is nothing in this ham glaze that would not have been available to the locals here in 1740, 1840, or 1940. It is a timeless Irish Christmas flavour and should be enjoyed with the best fatty ham you can find.
Simply boil your ham in water, cider, Coca Cola, or ginger beer. When it is almost cooked removed it from the water, glaze it generously, and place it in a hot oven until browned and caramelised.