Glazed Gammon with Maple Syrup & Mustard25/10/2012 16:16
Know your Gammon ~ Gammon is one of those traditional Christmas meats, often cooked on boxing day and served cold with leftover turkey and salads. Christmas isn't complete without one. But Gammon can be enjoyed all year round, cooked in many different ways and used for a variety of recipes. Often people don't think beyond traditional gammon steak and pineapple, but it is a meat that is so versatile, easy to cook, and can be combined with a wealth of ingredients.
Folk often wonder what the difference is between gammon and ham. In a nutshell, gammon is ham before it's cooked. Gammons can be smoked and unsmoked. Bone in (slightly more difficult to carve) or boneless. A gammon joint can be cooked by boiling or a combination of boiling and baking. Smoked gammon should be soaked overnight in cold water. Unsmoked gammon is less salty, but its still a good idea to soak it overnight. The recommened cooking guide for gammon is 20 minutes per 450g/1lb.
GLAZED GAMMON WITH MAPLE SYRUP & MUSTARD
This wonderfully succulent joint of meat makes a great alternative to a roast.
unsmoked Gammon joint - about 2kg in weight
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
handful of whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 onions, quartered
2 stick celery, cut into chunks
Line a roasting tin with tin foil.
To boil the gammon joint, place it in a pan and cover with cold water, add onions, celery and bay leaves to flavour. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours. As it cooks, skim off the scum and top up with water, if neccessary.
Heat the oven 220C/400F/ Gas Mark 6
Once the ham is cooked and cool enough to handle, put it onto a chopping board. With a sharp knife trim off the skin, leaving the white fat on the meat. Gently make incisions in a criss-cross pattern to create diamonds on top of the ham and stud with cloves. Mix the maple syrup with the mustard and smother it over the fat. Transfer the meat to the foil-lined roasting tin and roast for 30-40 minutes, basting regulary, until golden and sticky. Remove the ham from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Cover loosely with foil until ready to serve. Leave for at least 30 minutes before carving.
Taste wonderful with baked apple sauce.
BAKED APPLE SAUCE
4 large bramley apples or similar
50g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Peel, core and cut up the apples. Put into a roasting tin with all the other ingredients. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the apple is tender. Mash together with a fork and serve.
CREAMY LEEKS AND SPINACH
3 large leeks
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g spinach, rinsed
200ml double cream
grating of nutmeg
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the cream and grating of nutmeg and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced a little then stir in the garlic.
Meanwhile put the spinach into a separate pan and cover with lid, cook gently for 2 minutes, until wilted, drain throughly in a colander squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Stir the spinach into the creamy leeks and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a further couple of minutes to make sure it is heated through, before serving.
HASSELBACK POTATOES WITH PARMESAN TOPPING
8 medium potatoes
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 tbsp fine white breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven 180C/350F /Gas Mark 4
Slice the potatoes widthways along their length, but don't cut all the way through. Brush with butter, season and bake for 45 minutes. Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Brush the potatoes again with more butter and sprinkle over the crumb mix. Pop into the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Sweet and full of flavour
550g carrots, scrubbed or peeled, halved lengthways then cut horizontally.
1-2 tbsp demerara (brown)sugar
Knob of butter
In a saucepan of boiling water, add the carrots and cook till they still have bite to them. Drain well. In a large frying pan, add the butter & sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, throw the carrots in and toss really well, so that they all get coated well. Cook until lightly caramelised. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
Dessert ~ Blackberry Crumble & Custard