Easter Ham

Cherry Coke Ham

Nigella may have had made the Coke Ham famous but this version takes it to a different level. The cherry jam & pineapple glaze is sweet, sticky and warming. Every guest I have ever served this to has asked for seconds (and sometimes thirds). The ham is the showstopper of this menu so 1.2 kilos will serve 4 – 6 people.  Serve Cherry Coke Ham in a Florida / Cuban style with black beans and rice and pineapple salsa.

cuban rice and beans

Cuban Black Beans & Rice

Very simple to stir up and provides a good stodge to accompany the sweetness of the ham and the salsa.

Pineapple Salsa

Do not skip the pineapple salsa. It adds a refreshing zing to this dish. We had only habanero chilli when we made ours so we used the smallest sliver possible. It was so small we couldn’t even photograph it. Choose whatever type of fresh chilli and an amount of it that suits your own taste. Fresh coriander is a must! 

pineapple salsa

Efficient Cooking

I love this recipe because it makes a whole meal and you can wash up as you go along. Here is my cooking plan:

  1. Get the ham going
  2. Make the glaze and pineapple salsa
  3. Cook the rice (keep it warm)
  4. Drain the beans and set aside
  5. Do dishes, set the table, get drinks ready for guests – that kind of thing
  6. When ham is resting, fry up the rice & beans

Leftover Cherry Coke Ham Ideas

If you either happen to have leftovers or you’ve planned for leftovers, the ham is lovely cold or room temperature with extra pineapple salsa. Alternatively, stuff in a sandwich with a bit of mayo and dijon mustard.

For something more traditional, we also served our Cherry Coke Ham with potato dauphinoise (or in American, potato gratin, because “dauphinoise” is just too hard to say and spell).

Cherry Coke Ham, Cuban Beans & Pineapple Salsa

Florida Cuban-style ham, beans and rice. Spicy, sweet and sticky. Delicious dish!
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Cook Time4 hours
Total Time7 hours
Servings4 people


Cherry Coke Ham

  • 1.2 kilo smoked gammon
  • 1 litre Coke Classic, not diet and not Coke Zero
  • 2 small red onions quartered
  • 1 medium carrot quartered

Cuban Rice & Beans

  • 200 grams cooked short brown rice using package instructions
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 can black beans 425g, drained & rinsed

Pineapple Salsa & Cherry Ham Glaze

  • 435 grams crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons cherry jam
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 spring onion thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 handful coriander fresh, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 small chili adjust heat to your taste


Cherry Coke Ham

  • In a snug pot, tip in ham, onions, carrot and pour in the Coke until the ham is covered. Put on the lid and bring to the boil.
    nigella coke ham
  • Turn heat to low and simmer for three hours.
  • After the ham is cooked through, drain and discard the liquid and the vegetables. Carefully remove the skin from the ham and score the fat.
  • Heat the oven to 220C fan and line a roasting pan with aluminium foil.
  • Place the ham in the roasting pan, fat side up and slather on the cherry pineapple glaze.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Baste with the glaze every 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Remove the ham from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes then pull apart and serve.
    coke ham

Cuban Rice & Beans

  • In a large frying pan, add oil and garlic and fry on low until fragrant.
  • Add red onion and cook until onion is translucent.
  • Tip in beans and rice. Give it a good stir. Heat the beans and rice until warm. Do not stir too much at this stage or your beans will fall apart.
  • Season to taste.

Pineapple Salsa

  • Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice for the ham glaze.
  • In a small bowl, combine the crushed pineapple with the chili, coriander and spring onion. Stir to gently mix the ingredients.
  • Set the salsa aside for the flavours to infuse for at least three hours. Serve at room temperature.

Cherry Pineapple Glaze

  • In a small saucepan, combine the juice from the pineapple with the jam, sugar & mustard.
  • Heat slowly to melt the jam. Once everything is combined, turn the heat up until the glaze reaches a slow simmer.
  • Simmer until the glaze is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
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