Sunday, 20 December 2009

A Christmas Ham

I've never cooked a ham before, and we wanted something a bit Christmassy for dinner yesterday. So a quick check on recipes followed by a longer trip to Sainsbury's, and I was ready.

The gammon was first boiled in a mixture of apple and cranberry juice, with onions, allspice and cinnamon in the pot. I had to watch it pretty carefully as our pan was only just big enough. After about two hours, I took it out of the pot and let it cook for a bit. Then I removed the skin, which wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought it would be, and criss-crossed the fat. This was trickier than I had anticipated - I did cut through to the meat once or twice - and put a clove into each intersection.

Next I made a glaze - nearly a whole pot of cranberry sauce, a touch of mustard and a teaspoon of honey were melted together and then poured over the clove-studded edge. It did look very pretty, I must say.

Then, when I had finally got the other bits and pieces of our dinner organised, being slightly held up by our boiler which decided to shut down on the coldest, snowiest evening of the year, the gammon went into a hot oven for 30 minutes.

The final dish was delicious.

Yes, we did have wholly unseasonal vegetables with it - I'm ashamed to confess that the spinach came from Spain and the Mange Tout came from Ethiopia. Back to the parsnips and sprouts for the rest of the week...

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