Joulukinkku is the Finnish Christmas ham. Usually it is baked overnight, so the family can help themselves to a few bites in the morning of Christmas Eve, then served for dinner later in the evening. Historically, the hog was consumed over the summer while the wealthy dined on it during the winter. However, the rise of the middle-class in Nordic countries became a game-changer.

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First the oven is preheated at 100-125°C. The ham is rinsed in cold water, then it is placed into a plastic roasting bag with slits made in the bag. The thermometer is then inserted into the thickest part of the meat. The ham sits in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 75-80°C. After sitting in the oven overnight for about 6-8 hours, the ham is left to sit to cool for a few hours after the net, skin and fats are removed. The liquid is drained, then is set aside to be processed into gravy. When the ham has cooled down, the oven is pre-heated to 225°C and the ham is glazed with a mixture of breadcrumb, mustard and honey. The ham is then baked until browned. The surface is then decorated with cloves before being served.

Of course, the results won’t be posted until tomorrow since the ham is sitting in the oven.

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