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Boxing day lunch: smoked ham with a fresh parsley sauce recipe

ham with a fresh parsley sauceWe always buy a ham at Christmas to keep the goose company in the fridge and provide us with endless meals. Starting with ham sandwiches on Christmas day and hot ham with a fresh parsley sauce on Boxing Day. The latter is eaten on trays as we indulge in an afternoon of horse racing on the telly.

Danny and my mum sit watching the racing whilst I put on my pinny and provide the maid service end of things.

Homemade parsley sauce is a cinch to make. A basic Béchamel with parsley lemon and quite a bit of freshly ground white pepper makes a good sauce with a bit of a kick. I slice up enough ham for the meal and steam it for a couple of minutes before popping it onto warm plates and pouring over the sauce. Simple, delicious comfort food.

Fresh parsley sauce recipe


  • 50g of butter
  • 75g of plain white flour
  • 500ml of milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1.5 teaspoonfuls of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of Anchovy essence
  • 0.5 flat tsp of garlic granules
  • a good couple of twists of ground white pepper


  1. Heat the butter and, when it has melted, add the flour. Let this roux simmer for a minute or so to get a nuttiness. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly so that the roux absorbs all the milk before you add the next splosh. In this way you should avoid lumps.
  2. When all the milk has been added let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the lemon juice, garlic granules, anchovy essence and parsley.
  3. Stir well and simmer very gently for ten minutes to thicken. (If you prefer a thinner sauce add wrm milk in small amounts to get the desired consistancy).
  4. Pour over the hot ham and serve with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Toffeeapple

    I am addicted to ham and the Christmas ham is such a treat. Ham with a parsley sauce is one of my all time favourites.

    Our parsley has gone over too so this sauce was made with flat leafed parsley that I bought from the shops.

    Hi Kate

    Yes pinny is an old fashioned term, a shortened form of the word pinafore.

    Hi Pat

    We inherited a ham knife and Danny sharpened it up this year. It must be over 100 years old and cuts like a dream.

    Hi Amalee

    Your recipe sounds really yummy. Day off today so will get the peas onto soak. Thanks so much for dropping by with this recipe!

  2. amalee issa

    Hey Fiona, try this with a bit of your ham – soak a box of supermarket dried peas (without that revolting tablet and hairnet thing) overnight in cold water. Next day, fry off a couple of very roughly chopped onions in some goose fat or beef dripping, then throw in the drained peas, two very large handfuls of ham, and cover with enough water to come two thirds up the heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil and then simmer for a hour or so until the peas are softened and mushed. Eat until you feel ill. All this from your lovely photo of ham and parsley sauce. Yumm.

  3. We had Ham for Boxing day. And it was really yummy!!! And still is yummy. And will be yummy. 🙂 Good thing I love ham!! Your Parsley sauce recipe sounds lovely!!!!

  4. That sounds delicious – I love the ‘pinny’ which I figure is an apron here.

  5. Toffeeapple

    Oh my, I can smell that right now! I am so envious, all my parsley has disappeared from the garden and I’m not going to go shopping but I will be making that sauce to go with my little ham soon!

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