Gammon to Honey Roast Ham with Crackling

I love home cooked ham at Christmas and New Year. But I also dread cooking it mainly because I am not sure how to cook it. So this year I searched the net, both Danish and English, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. All of the recipes agreed on the cooking time, and I opted for a version of half boiled and half roasting.
I had purchased a small raw gammon joint of 1.4kg and here is how I cooked it.
I wrote this in January 2017; but forgot to post it.
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Prep time 10 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes per 500g
plus 20 minutes
Serves 8 Rest Time 2x 10 minutes

For boiling:

  • 1.4kg gammon joint
  • 5 cloves
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1-2 Onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds

For oven:

  • Many cloves, enough to poke into each diamond
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Mustard
  1. Place the gammon in a saucepan, cover with water add 5 cloves, bay leaves, onions, pepper and mustard seeds.
  2. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for half the total cooking time.
  3. Remove from saucepan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Now remove the rind leaving as much as possible of the fat on the gammon.
  5. Crisscross the fat with a knife making a diamond pattern.
  6. Mix the honey and mustard, and spread it over the fat
  7. Then poke each diamond with a clove.
  8. Place in a 180°C oven for the remaining time. Keep an eye on the joint and cover with foil if it colours too much.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving hot.

Make the Crackling:

  1. Once the rind is removed slice it into bite size
  2. Place all the pieces on a shallow baking tray
  3. When finished place another tray on top to prevent the slices curling
  4. Place in the oven with the ham on a lower rack and bake for 10-20 minutes
  5. After 10 minutes remove the upper tray, and salt the cracklings, and bake for 10 more minutes or until cracklings are nicely browned.

PS. The best about the rind is; that it can be purchase from Morrison’s for 40-50p
Just pre-boil the rind (5-10 minutes). The time it takes to heat the oven.

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Potatoes and leftover Stir-fry

Serves 1 Prep & Cooking Time: 10 minutes

meat41

 

  • 1 onion medium sized or 2 large Charlotte onions
  • 1-2 clove Garlic
  • 1-2 baby sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 4-5 small tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme & basil to taste
  • Some leftover cooked meat/chicken
  1. Finely chop the sweet pepper, onions and garlic
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a wok, then add the chopped onions, garlic and peppers.
  3. Use a mandolin to julienne the potatoes and add these to the wok.
  4. Dice the leftover meat/chicken and add to the wok.
  5. Dissolve the stock cube in ½ litre hot water and add this to the wok.
  6. Stir and add the peas and herbs.
  7. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir and add the quartered tomatoes, un-cover but leave simmering for 2 more minutes.

 

I love real wheat pasta

A week or so ago, I cooked some pasta, for 9-10 minutes as prescribed. It was taste-less and still half cooked, not very nice. I thought it was because I wasn’t feeling too well, and filed the thought at the back of my brain that I don’t like pasta anymore.

Today; I really fancied some pasta but felt reluctant: “do I want to cook for 10 minutes – only to throw the result away?” Hmmm … That was the thought that went through my mind. Anyway, I did cook some pasta but I also notice that the pasta I had cooked last time was gluten free “FreeFrom” pasta. And that has just joined my rubbish bin. So now I have re-discovered that I love real wheat pasta. To accompany the pasta I had stir-fried pak choi, Vichy carrots and a lovely tender dry-fried Angus beef steak. Followed by strawberries and cream.

Every Time Perfect Bacon

Difficulty: Easy
Oven Time: 20 minutes

I had to try this recipe when I found it (somewhere on the net, can’t remember where).
It actually works. No mess and no work once it’s in the oven. Just lovely!

  1. Line a baking tray with foil. This will make clean-up easier later.
  2. Arrange bacon slices on the foil
  3. Place the baking tray on the centre rack in a cold oven.
  4. Close oven door. Turn oven on to 200°C and leave for 17-20 minutes.
  5. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it’s done.
    The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven.
  7. Transfer the bacon onto paper towels to absorb the fat.
    Pour the liquid fat – through a strainer to filter out any crunchy bits – into a heat-resistant container for other usage.

Tips:

  • Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn’t burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.
  • You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.

Rolled Boneless Breast of Lamb

This will make a lovely cheap and cheerful Sunday roast.
Serves 4
Preparation time 5-10 min             Oven time 1 hour 20 min

  • 600-700g rolled boneless lamb breast
  • 2-4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 tsp each of:  salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, mixed herbs, marjoram, basil & hot paprika
  • 2-3 leeks cleaned and cut into 2.5cm rings
  • 8 smallish red onions
  • 3-4 carrots peeled and cut into 1cm rings
  • 1 large or 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 100ml chicken stock
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180º-200º
  2. Mix all the herbs in a little bowl
  3. Gently, without cutting the butcher’s string,
    push 1 slice garlic and ½ tsp of the herb mix into the “pockets between the strings” of the rolled lamb (approx. 6-8 times)
  4. Push the remainder of the garlic into either end
  5. Spread the remaining herb mix over the breast roll and “massage it in”. Use the ends of the role to pick up any spilled herbs.
  6. Evenly spread the leeks in your Cast Iron Casserole (you could use a glass casserole dish)
  7. Place the lamb breast on top of the leeks
  8. Put the onions tightly around the lamb
  9. Add the stock
  10. Place the casserole in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes
    If you are using a glass casserole, you need to place a piece of foil shiny side down between the lid and the dish and increase the cooking time by 15 minutes.
  11. Use the accumulated juices from the casserole as gravy.
  12. Cook the carrots and broccoli separately.

Serve with Rice, Potatoes or Pasta.

Oven-baked Sweet Potato & Parsnip Mash

2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg
25g butter
Some olive oil
  • Place the sweet potato, parsnip and stock cube into boiling salted water and boil for 10 minutes, then drain over a colander.
    Return the sweet potato to the pan and mash.
    Then add the butter and season to taste.
  • The mash can be prepared well in advance, just heat the mash in a saucepan before the next step.
  • Oil 3-4 individual oven dishes and place the mash into the dishes. Twist the pepper mill and grate the nutmeg once or twice over each dish. To finish add a little lump of butter.
  • Place in pre-heated (200º) oven for 5 minutes.