Queen’s ham maker releases special Boxing Day Brunch recipe

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The late Queen’s ham maker has revealed a secret recipe that has been a festive favourite of the Royal Family, in particular the late monarch, for many years. Neale Hollingsworth, founder of DukesHill, told how the Queen enjoyed a poached egg served on a slice of ham as she sat down for brunch on Boxing Day every year. He told how the dish has been a favourite with the Firm for nearly 30 years. 

He said: “My favourite meal during the whole Christmas period bar none is a Boxing Day brunch of a poached egg, on a warmed slice of DukesHill York ham with my take on bubble and squeak – made from Christmas lunch roast potatoes and brussels sprouts – served with a generous dollop of DukesHill’s Boxing Day Chutney.

“I understand Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was particularly fond of our York ham for breakfast with a poached egg, just like me. Though I’m not sure if she ever tried brussels and squeak.”

Speaking of the company’s traditionally-cured ham to the Palace, Mr Hollingsworth claimed he would personally deliver the festive order every December to The Sandringham Estate.

Speaking of his visit, he added that he would always make time to stop to chat to royal staff and, sometimes, to members of the Royal Family too. 

He added: “Going to Sandringham became a much-loved Christmas ritual for me.

“Just as that became part of my Christmas, so our hams became part of theirs.” 

Mr Hollingsworth described the dish as “leftovers with a luxury twist”, adding that it is his “star dish of Christmas.”

The founder added: “There’s nothing quite like it the day after slaving over Christmas lunch –  it’s quick, deliciously simple and provides the perfect excuse to enjoy your Christmas Eve ham once again.

“It just sets the whole family up for the day ahead – whether you’re going out for a bracing walk or spending the day relaxing on the sofa.”

Speaking of the dish, Mr Hollingsworth added he has served the “family tradition” to “so many guests and friends over the years”.

He said that the guest always “look forward to it just as much as the Christmas Day turkey and trimmings.”

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Founded almost forty years ago, DukesHill has grown into one of Britain’s most respected luxury artisan food brands.

The company boasts a vision of producing the very best hams, cured in the the “old-fashioned” way, with a true focus on texture and flavour.

The product has now been offered in some of London’s top Food Halls, including Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

As well as the Queen’s favourite ham, the company also produces a tasty array of top-quality fresh meats, smoked fish and cheeses, as well as many more products.


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Neale’s Boxing Day Brunch Recipe: 

Brussels and squeak:

Finely dice one small onion and cook on low heat in butter until soft and allow to cool.

Take 750g of leftover roast potatoes and blitz in a food processor until broken down into small pieces but retaining some texture.

Take 250g of leftover cooked brussel sprouts and finely chop. Put onion, potato and brussels in a mixing bowl and combine, adding salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Form into six patties and dust each in flour. Ideally then chill in the fridge for 20-25 minutes to ensure the mixture stays firm when heated.

Then fry in olive oil or duck fat till well coloured on both sides. 

Ham: cut a thick slice of leftover DukesHill ham (Luxury Christmas, Wiltshire, York or Shropshire Black) from Christmas Eve – warmed in a low oven.

Poached egg: put a pot of water on a very low simmer, add a splash of cider vinegar and swirl water with a wooden spoon. Take a very fresh egg, pour off excess white, then put in tea cup before sliding into the water…remove once white is firm and yolk still runny, dry with kitchen towel, trim and season, place on ham slice

Condiments: DukesHill Boxing Day Chutney 

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