GAMMON ON A SUNDAY
While HP was revisiting Fish Central, a restaurant we last tried nearly two and a half years ago, it seemed fitting that, for my turn to cook Sunday lunch, I should turn to something I last cooked around the same time.
Gammon is one of the great forgotten joints, primarily because most people are not too sure how to prepare it and also, in these days of instant gratification, dishes like this that take two days to prepare are just plain unfashionable. It takes time, for certain, but the end result is definitely worth all the effort involved.
Although both are taken from the hind legs of the pig, Gammon differs from ham primarily in that the latter is cured for longer and can be eaten without cooking, gammon needs baking or boiling.
My five and a half pound joint came from Grange farm via The Ginger Pig and, after lugging it home, I left it to soak overnight in two changes of water before simmering for two and a half hours. Once the joint was cooked through, I removed the tough outer skin, scored the fat through to the flesh, rubbed with English mustard, studded with cloves and covered in brown sugar before baking to a rich, crunchy glaze. What emerges from the oven is a beautiful thing and we carved off thick, pink slices to serve with simple sides of shredded cabbage and peas and, of course, a thick parsley sauce.
Even with our hefty appetites, there was still plenty left, so I see a thick pea & ham soup in our immediate future