Holiday Ham Deserves This Spiced Madeira and Honey Glaze

Glistening in a spiced madeira and honey glaze, served on a bed of greens and citrus, this holiday ham is tailor-made for a special occasion meal.

Ham with Madeira, Tangerines, and Bay on a Bed of Greens

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 15 mins
8 servings

“My ham on a bed of collards is pretty simple on the surface — the greens are baked along with the ham — but at the same time spectacular in look and taste,” says cookbook author Amy Theilen. A coriander seed–and–black peppercorn glaze flavored with Madeira and honey blankets this crosshatched ham, giving it a textured, glistening finish. While the ham bakes, the bed of collards, leeks, and halved tangerine benefits from the juices that drip off of it, imbuing them with deep, long-cooked flavor. It’s tailor-made for a special occasion meal. 

Frequently asked questions

What ham is best for this recipe? 

For the best flavor, choose a smoked ham from a heritage breed, such as Berkshire, that has little or no added water content. Berkshire pigs are pasture-raised and allowed to forage, which gives the hams their prized flavor and juicy texture from fine marbling. Berkshire hams can be ordered from local butcher shops during the holiday season, or order online at D’Artagnan. Thielen prefers bone-in ham for its flavor and low water content, but you can order a quality boneless Berkshire ham if you prefer.

What should I serve as a side dish with glazed ham?

Our testers agreed this ham would be great with roasted potatoes or rice.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? 

The Madeira and honey glaze can be prepared through step 2 up to 2 days in advance. Store the glaze and garlic in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Let glaze come to room temperature while ham roasts in step 3.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

“We couldn’t stop eating this!”, one tester reported. The crust on the ham is well balanced with the spiciness from the peppercorn, the coriander seeds complementing the floral notes from the honey. The texture of the spices adds another component to the crust. The honey is scented with garlic, pulling the glaze in with the smoky flavor of the ham. 

It’s important that the collard greens be dried before cooking. If the greens are sopping wet, they won’t crisp well. 

The collard greens become crispy in parts and tender in others and soak up all of the drippings from the ham. The tangerine and heads of roasted garlic allow for everyone to customize their level of seasoning. The collard greens soak up the drippings so well. To quote our testers: “It’s very tasty! I don’t want my collard greens any other way now.”

Suggested pairing

Our wine editor recommends an orange-zesty, nutty Madeira, such as Blandy’s Five Year Old Dry Verdelho.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 3 small garlic heads

  • 1/2 cup honey, divided

  • 1/2 cup Madeira

  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

  • 6 tablespoons water, divided

  • 6  large bunches collard greens (about 3 3/4 pounds), stemmed and torn into 2-inch pieces

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 (9-pound) fully cooked bone-in smoked ham (such as smokehouse or city ham), brought to room temperature

  • 2 medium leeks, halved and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces

  • 3 small tangerines, halved crosswise

  • 4 fresh bay leaves


  1. Toast coriander seeds and peppercorns in a small skillet over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle or a spice mill, crush to a medium-coarse texture. Set aside.

  2. Cut top quarter off garlic heads; discard tops. Heat 2 tablespoons honey in a small skillet over medium-low. Add garlic, cut sides down; cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until honey darkens to a mahogany color and garlic cloves have started to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer garlic heads to a plate using tongs, and set aside. Add Madeira, Cognac, 2 tablespoons water, reserved coriander mixture, and remaining 6 tablespoons honey to darkened honey in skillet. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until glaze thickens to a thin syrup, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.

  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss together collards and 3 tablespoons oil in a roasting pan until evenly coated. Pour remaining 1/4 cup water over collard greens. Score top of ham in a 1-inch-wide crosshatch pattern, and set ham in center of roasting pan on collard greens. Place garlic heads, cut side up, in roasting pan. Cover roasting pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of ham registers 90°F, about 1 hour.

  4. Remove ham from oven, and remove foil. (Do not turn oven off.) Transfer ham to a baking sheet. Toss together leeks, tangerines, bay leaves, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add leek mixture to collard greens in roasting pan, and stir until well combined. Place ham on vegetable mixture, and brush with 1/4 cup glaze. Bake ham at 325°F, uncovered, 30 minutes. Brush ham with 2 tablespoons glaze, and stir wilted greens mixture to coat in pan juices; bake for 30 additional minutes. Brush ham with remaining 2 tablespoons glaze.

  5. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking ham, turning vegetables occasionally, until collard greens are very tender, surface of ham caramelizes, and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of ham registers 145°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour, loosely tenting with aluminum foil if ham begins to get too dark.

  6. Remove from oven. Let ham rest, uncovered, 10 minutes. Carve across the grain into thin slices. Serve with collard greens mixture, pan juices, and roasted garlic.

Originally appeared in Food & Wine magazine, November 2023

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