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Recipe for family meals :

Julskinka - Swedish Christmas Ham

This recipes comes from Dancer and Graphic artist Martin James. Martin, who originally comes from New Zealand, is now living with his wife and children in Copenhagen as he is currently principal Dancer with The Royal Danish Ballet. You will be able to find out more about Martin when his Biography page is published.

Being so gifted it seems unfair that Martin should also be talented in the kitchen as well but he has agreed to share some of his recipes with us which is great news.

"The main dish served on Christmas Eve is the 'julskinka', the traditional Christmas ham. Usually, a ham should last at least for a week and appear at almost all meals between Christmas Eve and New Years Day".


3 - 5 kg of salt-cured fresh ham (do not use dried cured ham)
1 egg
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • Depending upon the method of salt curing it might be necessary to leave the ham overnight covered with water to desalt it.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 125ºC (240ºF). Insert an oven thermometer in the thickest part of the ham. Leave it in the oven until the temperature reaches 75ºC (167ºF).
  • Remove the rind carefully and as much of the fat as you like. (With less fat left it is healthier but drier!)
  • Heat the oven to 225ºC (450ºF).
  • Mix egg, mustard and sugar.
  • Place the ham on a roasting-pan, cover it with the mixture and sift the breadcrumbs over if. They should stick to the egg-mustard mixture.
  • Bake the ham for 10 minutes in the oven. When ready, it should have a golden colour with a few deep brown but no black patches.
  • If you're not going to use it as the centrepiece on the buffet table you can serve it together with potatoes, red cabbages, mustard and stewed and mashed apples.

Martin James