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Cooking some gammon for Christmas


PoppySeedBagel
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I am due to cook some gammon, to serve hot on Christmas Eve, then cold on Boxing Day. All my recipe books tell me to 'boil' it first, then to glaze & roast for only about 1/2 an hour in a very hot oven. No other meat, including pork, is cooked this way, and I wonder if the preliminary boiling dates from the days when hams and bacons were very salty, so the boiling was designed to reduce the saltiness. Do we need to do this these days? Is there any other reason for doing it? Does anyone not bother to cook it in water first?

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Yes, you do need to reduce the salt, for example by soaking

Its quite tough meat, so needs long slow wet cooking to help the collagen break down. The glaze is just decorative. Instead of glazing you can breadcumb, for example.

I soaked for 24 hours in 4 changes of water, then cooked for 12 hours at 65C to an internal temperature of 62C, then stripped the skin (recycled at cracklings and flavouring/gelatine for pea soup).

Score the fat and rub in sugar (demerara), then stud with cloves. Much easier to sugar before cloves. Pour over the basting fluid - I used apple juice, but you can use cola or whatever. Very hot oven for half an hour, basting every 10 minutes.

See http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=466554

i1700.jpg

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Im actually just waiting for my butcher to deliver my Christmas meats now, my ham amongst them.

I'll soak it for about 24 hours, changing the water 3-4 times during this time, then this year I am going to boil the joint in pineapple juice, then finish in the oven with a honey/wholegrain mustard glaze (of course with the obligatory cloves)

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Palm sugar, lime and chilli glaze recipe brought back from last year's Christmas in New Zealand. Can't find the recipe on the web (it is in one of Julie Biuso's books), but if there is interest I will post it when I get up to my mother's - she has it.

As above, cook the ham first, glaze afterwards.

Helen

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Important dilemma:

Do the cloves go in the centre of the diamonds, or the intersections?

Duncan says they go in the centre of the diamonds (and I agree).

Interesting recipe, particularly since I've been checking pans all day to work out which would hold the bit of gammon that I bought for boiling...

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I have just bought a whole leg of dry cured smoked ham from Richard Woodall. It looks and smells gorgeous but I was expecting something I could cook. It kind of looks like I could serve it like Iberico.

Problem is, I have a whole contingent of Irish in laws over for Christmas and let's just say I received a distinctly negative response when I suggested not cooking it. Can I soak and then cook it? Help :blink:

Edited by Romaney O'Malley (log)
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right

have done significant research and I think I'm ok. It seems I am not completely wrong in thinking it doesn't need cooking except that if I was going to serve it raw it would need to hang for substantially longer (say another year - thanks HFW). In this case it seems I am clear to boil and cook in normal manner.

It's currently soaking in a large bucket of water after which I intend to boil it for a few hours and then bake with a glaze.

If it's a complete disaster I will report back in the hope of sparing others from the same.

Actually - if it's great, boring as it may be for everyone else, I may also report back in manner of stupid person pleased with own performance

Edited to give credit to lovely HFW meat book

Edited by Romaney O'Malley (log)
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Thanks everyone - in the end I soaked it overnight, then poached in cider & water, and it was lovely & juicy when hot, and typical hammy dryness when cold. I think the soak must have got out the salt, as I could boil down the cooking liquor for a sauce until it was very well-reduced and it wasn't salty at all, and neither was the gammon.

The reason for my question was that we don't poach pork, even though it has the same spread of fat. ie around the edge not marbled. Is it that the salt that makes it tougher, so we have to poach first?

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