A couple of years ago, Jumpy’s eczema and allergies were so out of control that any food that made its way into her mouth was causing her skin to react. I started a food diary to make sure I could identify what was or was not causing a reaction. I really went back to basics with my cooking. I would cook things separately and avoid at all costs anything processed.
Sliced meats, no matter how ‘good quality’ they might have been, invariably caused a reaction. I thought she might be allergic to pork, but her allergy consultant suggested it might be the preservatives in the meat. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a pack of sliced ham? It is scary! There are more unpronounceable words on there than you could imagine.
As soon as I started cooking ham myself, she was fine with it (and loved it!). Now, she always asks for “chicken” (her word for meat!) and she is a real meat lover. Would you believe me if I said she prefers it to chocolate?
I have always cooked gammon, but not necessarily in view on keeping it in the fridge and slicing as we went along, but it works beautifully and it keeps for a few days wrapped in cling film. It is perfect because it is so versatile. You can slice it finely for sandwiches or wraps, pull chunks out and eat cold with mayonnaise (Crevette’s favourite pack lunch savoury treat!) or cut it in small pieces to use in savoury muffins, quiches, pasta dishes, curries and so on and so forth.
To start with, I would only boil it in water, just to make sure Jumpy could actually eat the meat, and gammon after gammon, I gradually added more and more ingredients to make a tasty stock.
Shop-bought stock was out of the question (again, too many ingredients to be safe), so I played around with vegetables and herbs until I found the perfect balance of veg and herbs that would really enhance the flavours of the gammon (Whoops, I forgot the leek for the photo!).
You could stop there and eat the gammon boiled in your homemade stock. It will be delicious, and we normally eat it just like that, always making sure we keep some to eat cold the next day.
When Schwartz asked me to collaborate on a recipe, I felt honoured. It is not every day you are asked to develop a recipe for a brand you love and use all the time! This recipe is the combination of my own boiled gammon recipe and a tweaked version of Schwartz’ honey glazed gammon.
If your children like to help in the kitchen, they will love getting involved. After I had scored the fat, Beanie carefully put cloves in. I am not normally a fan of cloves, but in this recipe, they give that little extra depth to the meat. Just make sure you remove them before eating. It would not be a pleasant surprise for your guests!
My girls even managed to work together without arguing too much.
Beanie also loved putting the glaze together and spreading it over the cooked gammon.
You will really take your gammon to a whole new level by roasting it with the scrumptious honey glaze.
It is more of a treat, for a special occasion or when you have guests around. The beauty of this dish is it tastes even better if you boil the gammon the day before, considerably reducing time spent in the kitchen on the day you have guests over. Even the glaze can be spread over the gammon a couple of hours in advance, covered in foil and kept in the fridge, so all you have to do when your guests arrive is place the gammon in the oven.
Fresh ginger on top makes all the difference in my opinion and I like to grate a little bit more on top of the cooked gammon just before serving.
The gammon is so flavoursome, you will not need to fancy side dishes and I find that steamed vegetables (French beans, sliced carrots, asparagus, baby cauliflower, baby sweetcorn) or mash really complement it beautifully.
An Easy Way to Cook Gammon to Perfection & a Honey Glaze for Roasting
Step 1: To Cook the Gammon
- 1.5 kg unsmoked gammon joint
- 1 onion peeled
- 1 leek trimmed and washed
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 parsnip peeled
- 1 sweet potato or any other root vegetable peeled
- 2 Schwartz bay leaves
- 15 Schwartz black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon Schwartz perfect shake season-all herb and spice blend optional
Step 2: To Roast the Gammon
- · 1 tablespoon Schwartz Cloves
- · ¼ teaspoon Schwartz Ground Ginger
- · 2 tablespoons clear honey
- · 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- · Root ginger to grate
Step 1: Cook the Gammon
- Rinse the gammon joint under cold water and place it in a large casserole dish with the onion, leek, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, bay leaves, peppercorns and herb and spice blend (if using).
- Cover all ingredients with cold water.
- Over a high heat, bring to the boil.
- Scoop out the foam that has formed on top and reduce the heat. Cover and leave to cook for 2 ½ hours, making sure the gammon is always completely submerged in water. Add water if needed.
- Ideally, cover and keep in a cool place for all the flavours to infuse overnight. If you are short on time, you can take the gammon out of the stock and move on to the next step once it is at room temperature.
Step 2: Roast the Gammon
- Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 7 (220°C, 425°F). Remove the rind from the joint and score the exposed fat with a sharp knife to form a diamond pattern. Press a clove into the centre of each diamond.
- Place the joint in a roasting tin. Mix the Ginger, honey and sugar together and spread the glaze over the joint. Add some freshly grated ginger on top.
- Bake the glazed gammon in the oven for 20-25 minutes, basting it frequently until the fat is crisp and golden. Take it out of the oven and cover tightly with foil. Leave it to rest for 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the vegetables.
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This post is sponsored by Schwartz. All opinions and photos are my own.