My darling Mr Q loves ham. Just adores it. I’ll often find him crouched by the fridge in the dark, quietly folding ham into his mouth, trying not to be noticed. We probably go through hundreds of kilos of ham per year, it’s ridiculous. And expensive, if you buy the good stuff.
This week, I decided to have a go at cooking my own gammon – or confusingly, ham, as the finished baked product is called.
Having no clue what I was doing, I purchased a 2.5 kilo gammon from Tesco on a whim and bought it home. It sat on the counter while I Googled the best method to cook it. There was a ton of information out there – from overnight soaking to cooking in coca-cola or studding with cloves and slices of orange. Massive confusion ensued.
So, I decided to wing it. Sans recipe. I could remember snippets of my grandfather’s recipe, so I put what I knew to use and bluffed the rest.
Mustard and golden syrup-glazed ham
- Pop the whole joint of gammon into a large pot of boiling water with a whole quartered onion and some whole peppercorns. Simmer away for about 45 mins (less if your gammon is smaller than mine).
- Remove ham from the pot, but don’t discard the stock just yet.
- Score the rind in a pretty diamond shape if you so desire, or just slash haphazardly like I did.
- Plop the ham into a big baking dish.
- Massage three large tablespoons of wholegrain mustard into the meat, then drizzle with three large tablespoons of golden syrup.
- Ladle a cup of the cooking stock into the bottom of the baking dish so that steam is created when you cover with foil.
- Cover with foil loosely and pop into the oven at 160 degrees for 1.5 hours.
- Remove the ham from the oven and take off the foil.
- Baste in the juices (add some more of the cooking stock if the bottom of the dish is dry)
- Pop the ham back in the oven at 220 degrees for 30 mins.
- Rest for five minutes, then carve!
The resulting ham was delicious, if a little salty. The only change to the recipe I’d make for next time is to heed the advice I found online about soaking the gammon overnight to remove a lot of the salt. Otherwise, it was great.
We’ve been eating the damn ham for three days now. In sandwiches, with eggs, aside salad. Mr Q has been sneaking out to the fridge to stuff wafer-thin slices into his gob. Success. But next time, I think we’ll go for the smaller gammon.