Saturday, December 29, 2007

Roasted Marmalade Ham

3-4kg middle cut gammon, with the knuckle left on
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
16 black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (a piece of leek, celery, a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme)
2 oranges
2tbsp sea salt
3tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 jar of best thin rind marmalade
a handful of fresh rosemary, leaves picked

place the gammon in a large snug fitting pot. Cover it with water, then throw in your veg, bay leaves, peppercorns and bouquet garni. Peel the zest from the oranges, and add to the pot, then squeeze in the juice, and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for an hour and a quarter, with a lid on, skimming if need be. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for half an hour in the broth. This will allow the flavors to really penetrate the meat. Discard the vegetables from the broth, but keep the broth for making soup – it will freeze well for use another day.

Preheat the oven to 170c. Carefully remove the meat to a board, and using a knife, take off the skin. Remove some of the fat, leaving about ½ inch. Score in criss-cross fashion, and while it is moist, season it generously with the black pepper. Place in a roasting try and roast for 20 minutes, until the fat renders and becomes slightly crispy. Remove from the oven, stir up the marmalade to loosen it , then smear and rub it all over the meat with the rosemary. Place back in the oven for about 1 hour, and baste frequently until beautifully golden and crisp.

I was looking around for a good Christmas recipe. I thought about making a goose, or a turkey, but they were prohibitively expensive. It was going to cost about 30 pounds or so to get a goose, and a free range turkey was as much or more. A ham, however, was right in our price range, and I found this recipe in a Jamie Oliver book.

Way easy if you have the right equipment, and by that I mean an absurdly large pot. That is going to be your biggest obstacle to overcome. I used the biggest one we had, and it just fit. Unfortunately, once it started cooking, it swelled a bit, and was then slightly too big.

I developed an elaborate system to keep all the steam in. It looked like this…

There is a sippy cup lid propping up the top pot, so that the steam doesn’t get trapped in there.

Note, this could all have been avoided if I had made sure to get a ham the right size for the pot.

Other then that, this was really easy. It takes a long time, but it’s not terribly complicated, and the end result is gorgeous. The pepper mellows a lot, I’m not sure if that is because of the fat or the marmalade, but there is no overpowering pepper flavor to it. The marmalade glaze was incredible. The little bits of glazed cooked fat were impossible to resist.

Good ham!

If you have a large group of people to feed, I highly recommend this. If there are only a few of you, you’d better have a lot of ideas for leftover ham.

1 comment:

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