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Spring 2014

When you're cooking for a crowd, or even just for two, a boiled ham is very economical - much better value than buying ham ready cooked. Always a treat and popular with children and adults, a ham is incredibly versatile and delicious served hot or cold. Leftovers are never a problem as you can use cooked ham in any number of ways, from a simple sandwich filling to pasta dishes, omelettes, salads and soups. E.L.
Gammon with a mustard glaze

Boiling the gammon very, very slowly keeps the meat moist and tender, and there is very little shrinkage. Discarding the first pot of cooking water helps to get rid of any excessive saltiness. The second lot of cooking liquid, flavoured with vegetables and herbs, will make delicious ham stock for use in soups - so strain this and store in the fridge or freezer but don't throw it away!


1.75kg - 2.25kg (4-5lb) unsmoked boneless gammon joint, tied
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm /2 in pieces
2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 5cm / 2in pieces
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
For the glaze:
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp dry English mustard


Place the gammon joint in an extra large saucepan. Cover with cold water and slowly bring to the boil. Carefully pour away the water and scatter the prepared vegetables and seasonings around the meat. Refill the pan with cold water, making sure the water covers the meat. Return to the heat and slowly bring back to the boil.

Lower the heat so that the water only just bubbles, very gently. Cover the pan and cook for 2 hours, making sure that you maintain this very gentle bubble. When done, a skewer will pierce the meat easily, and the juices will run clear.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / Gas 6.

Remove the meat from the cooking water and place in a roasting tin. While the joint is still warm, gently peel off the skin. Using a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern, taking care not to cut all the way through. Mix together the sugar and mustard and press the mixture over the joint to cover the fat.

Place the meat in the centre of the hot oven and cook for 10-20 minutes. Turning the roasting tin at intervals to ensure even browning. If some parts are beginning to burn, cover that part with a piece of foil.

Serve hot or cold.


Sweet Mustard Sauce

This sauce goes well with cold ham as well charcuterie and pork pies. Simply add chopped dill to make the perfect Mustard Dill Sauce to serve with gravadlax or smoked salmon.

3 tblsps Dijon mustard
2 tblsps granulated sugar
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 egg yolk
150ml sunflower oil
salt and black pepper


In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, sugar, vinegar and egg yolk using a balloon whisk. Drizzle in the oil, a little at a time, whisking well to incorporate. Continue until all the oil is added and you have a sauce the consistency of mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a screw top jar in the fridge until ready to use.
Swedish Yellow Pea and Ham Soup

This soup is the colour of sunshine and will brighten even the coldest of days.

1.8 litres ham stock
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
olive oil
butter
250g yellow split peas
200g flaked ham hock, or boiled ham, chopped
black pepper
chopped parsley, to serve


Heat a splash of oil and a knob of butter in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 2-3 minutes. Add the ham stock and peas and season with a little pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 40-45 minutes, or until the peas and carrots are soft. Stir in the ham and heat for a further 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley to serve.