I do love to cook gammon/ham at home – I just think there is something very satisfying about the process, and if not being eaten straight away, it’s nice to have it in the fridge to cut at for butties, salads, or to enjoy with egg and chips etc! It’s also far more cost effective than buying ready cooked meat. I tend to keep the ham for up to 3 days in the fridge but if I’m not going to use it within this time, I just slice the meat (or cube it as it’s great to go in fried rice dishes), wrap in foil, then in a freezer bag and pop into the freezer to use at a later date.
This really simple way of cooking the ham, takes always the need to soak it to remove some of salt and the honey and mustard glaze looks glorious and tastes absolutely delicious.
Ingredients (Serves 4 -6 dependant on your portioning)
750g unsmoked gammon joint – picked mine up from Sainsbury’s
2 generous tablespoons honey
1 – 2 teaspoons *Dijon mustard – Check to ensure gluten free, I used Sainsbury’s
Small amount of light brown sugar to sprinkle over the ham – optional
If like me, you are using a gammon joint (it’s called ‘gammon’ until its cooked, and then, ta-da it transforms into ham!!) that is vacuumed pack just remove the outer plastic, leave on the paper or string that may be holding the gammon together and place it in a large pan. Cover the gammon with cold water and bring to the boil.
Whilst waiting for the pan to boil fill the kettle and flick it on to boil.
Once the pan has come to the boil, remove from the heat and carefully drain all the water off (watch out for the steam, it’s a nuisance and can give you a nasty scald!). Refill the pan with the boiled water from the kettle, again just covering the gammon. Return the pan to the heat, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat so the water is just at a nice gentle simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 45 minutes. But do keep having a quick peep, to check if it needs a drop more water going in. You are looking at keeping the gammon ever so slightly covered with the water.
After 45 minutes remove the pan from the heat and carefully lift out the meat, using a couple of slotted spoons or a meat fork and pop it into a roasting tray. Carefully remove the rind (and any paper), to expose the fat. You can score the fat at this point and even stud it with cloves if you like. I didn’t on this occasion, but at Christmas I would normally do this.
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6/Fan 180C
In a beaker or bowl blend together the honey and mustard, and then with a silicone brush, ‘paint’ the ham joint with the mixture. You will repeat this process twice in-between baking, so don’t use up all the mixture in one go.
Pop the ham into the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then remove from the oven and repeat the ‘painting’ bit before putting back into the oven for a further 10 minutes. Again, after this time repeat the same process, using up the remainder of the honey and mustard, sprinkle with a little light brown sugar (if using) and return the meat to the oven to cook for a final 5-10 minutes. Check it’s at your desired colour if you fancy it a bit darker leave in the oven for a little longer.
Remove from the oven. Give the meat about 10 minutes to rest before you slice it
Cooked ham works wonderfully with either home-cooked chips, sauté or creamy Dauphinoise potatoes – and roasted butternut squash and red onion and a spoonful of garden peas would be an ideal veg choice for me!
Cooked ham is also delicious glazed with cherry or apricot jam and even marmalade!