Friday, 21 May 2010

A ham is not just for Christmas

I'm an impatient luncher - 1pm seems to roll around just as I'm in the middle of something actually semi-important. To break for a laborious chop-boil-fry-blend-arrange lunch means that I often sidestep the whole business and eat only a tiny piece of cheese. Then I wonder why I feel faint but also quite snappy come 4pm.

My solution to this is to usually either have a cold roast chicken or joint of beef on the go in order to hack bits up to add to a salad or put in a sandwich or just eat slathered with piccallili (have I spelled that right?) standing in the kitchen. Today I thought I'd bake up a ham to nibble at over the next four days or so.

I got a nice 1kg organic bit of gammon and soaked it for 8 hours to get rid of the worst of the brine and then
baked it with a mustard, maple and sugar glaze.

My glaze:
2 tbsp English mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup, either mixed in with the mustard or drizzled over the gammon
2 tbsp demerara sugar

For the method and the cooking times I was working to this Delia recipe, which suggested really quite frighteningly short cooking times for my gammon - a measly 20 mins per pound, which worked out at only about 55 mins for my large piece of pork.

Here's my gammon

Taking the skin off to slap on the glaze - not actually that easy

Glaze on... back in the oven...


I, like most British people, am a bit scared of underdone pork, so I left it in the oven for an extra 25 minutes. If I get trichinosis, you'll be the first to know. Actually, the Royal Free Hospital's A+E department will be the first to know, but I'm sure they've got WiFi.

Anyway, if you're the kind of person who doesn't like to play Russian Roulette with their food, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver both have fantastic glazed-gammon recipes, which include a good long stint of boiling before the gammon goes in the oven.

A great thing to do with the skin, which you remove half-way through cooking in order to spread on your glaze, is to put it in the oven alongside the gammon, well-covered with salt and grount-nut oil and roast for about 45 mins until you get crackling - turn once during cooking.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Esther,

    I'm re-reading your archives on a Sunday afternoon when my husband is out and the chores are done and I have nothing else to do but drink tea and "do blog stuff" (read my favourites; update mine; find new interesting stuff to read). Bliss!

    Making a non-Christmas ham is an excellent idea. Might do that same time next week instead of lolling about.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire my cooking and my writing!