To the Irish, ham is a cured leg of pork. The preserving process is carried out in a number of different ways: salting, smoking, immersion in brine or even honey. Traditionally, Limerick ham is smoked over juniper branches. Whole hams should be steeped in cold water overnight before cooking but this is not necessary with smaller joints. The ham in this recipe is not really baked but rather finished off in the oven after having been cooked by simmering in cider.
Cover the ham with cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Throw out the water and replace with cider. Bring this just to the boil and lower the heat, keeping the liquid barely simmering for 20 minutes to the 1 lb/ 1/2 kg. Remove from the heat and allow to stand in the liquid for 30 minutes. Take out the ham, skin it and score the fat with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern. Stud with whole cloves. Mix the sugar and mustard and rub well into the surface of the ham. Bake in a pre-heated oven for a further 10 minutes to the 1 lb / 1/2 kg at gas mark 6, 400°F, 200°C.