In a big pot make a base of hay, sprinkle on your spices and bay leaves, and lay the ham in your hay nest. Cover with more hay around and on top. Cover with water. Bring to the boil then straight away turn down to the gentlest simmer. Put a lid on and cook either in the oven or on top, making sure that it is not boiling too fast. Cook until tender all the way through, check by probing with a thin sharp knife; it will take 3½–4½ hours. The hay is sadly not edible.