As adults, Christmas can become all about trying to recapture childhood nostalgia. It never works because you can’t feel like a child whilst also being a responsible adult. Children don’t have to care about the pressures of the festive season, worry about the Christmas weight gain or balance time with families and friends. Can we agree to give ourselves a break and instead of trying to recapture the magic, we indulge in some good old fashioned culinary fun? Enter; Irn-Bru.

Barr has brought out a limited edition Irn-Bru 1901, promising a high sugar, high taste Bru experience. Queen of Christmas, Nigella Lawson, has a recipe for ham cooked in Cola. There are a few reasons to use a carbonated drink to cook your ham; you get the sweet flavours of the drink pushed into the ham as it cooks, which can help to balance out a salty cured joint. Carbonated drinks are higher in acid, which can help to make the meat more tender. It’s also fun; which we’ve already agreed we’re going to indulge in.


  • 3 bottles of Irn-Bru 1901, or enough to submerge your ham (This recipe would also be fantastic with the new Winter Spice Bru)
  • 2.7kg Ham joint
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Black Treacle
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp french mustard


  1. Place your ham joint, skin side down in a pot. Make sure you use a pot that’s wide and deep enough to fit the joint, but the snugger the fit; the less Bru you’ll need.
  2. Peel and chop your onion in half and wedge into the pot, before submerging the ham joint in Irn Bru.
  3. Bring your bru to the boil and reduce to a simmer. For my 2.7kg joint, it took about 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, if you have a digital thermometer, you’re looking for the middle of the ham to reach 63 degrees C.
  4. Remove the joint from the pot and allow to cool.
  5. Preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.
  6. While it’s cooling, combine the treacle, sugar and mustard.
  7. Remove the rind, if your joint has one, as trim off the fat until you’re left with a pretty white even layer. Then take a knife and score the fat into diamonds. For extra credit, stud your ham joint with cloves at the centre of each diamond. It’s cute AF and actually a generally easy task.
  8. Transfer your gorgeous ham to a roasting tray with a rack (I use Prestige’s Roast and Rack) and cover in your treacle mixture.
  9. Put a little water in the bottom of the pan to avoid burning. Place the roaster in the oven for 20 minutes, until the treacle mixture is bubbling.
  10. Allow to cool, slice and serve.

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