For all those who saw our founder Sean Cannon on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch yesterday (and of course for those who didn’t), here is the recipe for the ultimate Christmas gammon. Enjoy.
1 boneless gammon joint (around 2.5kg will easily feed 6 – 8 people) – best sourced from your local or online quality butcher as opposed to a supermarket.
For the boiling part
3 bay leaves
6 whole peppercorns (optional)
2 sticks of celery
6 juniper berries
For the glaze
1 cinnamon stick
100g runny honey
100g wholegrain mustard
25ml sherry or cider vinegar
50ml date syrup (optional)
Preparing (this can be done the day before if easier and wrapped in parchment over night in the fridge)
Soak the gammon joint for 4 – 12 hours (the more the better really but four is enough) in cold water to wash off the salt (gammon will always be cured with salt before you buy it) . Pour out the water.
Place the gammon joint into a large lidded saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Drain the water from the saucepan, add fresh cold water, add the onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves , juniper and peppercorns and bring to the boil once more. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer the gammon and vegetables gently for 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz. (If your pan is not quite large enough to cover the joint completely, turn the gammon over halfway through the cooking time.)
Remove the gammon from the water and set aside to cool for fifteen minutes. (The cooking liquid can be strained and reserved for making soup for another time.)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and line a large roasting tin with aluminium foil.
- Use a small knife to remove the rind from the gammon joint (this is really easy) , leaving as much of the fat intact as possible. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, and push a clove into the centre of each ‘X’.
- Place the gammon into the foil-lined roasting tray, ensuring that the sides of the foil come half way up the joint to contain any roasting juices.
- For the glaze, mix all the ingredients together (keep the cinnamon stick whole though) and brush half of it evenly over the gammon, including one side of the joint. Roast in the centre of the oven for ten minutes at 200 degrees centigrade , then take the joint out and brush the top and remaining side with the rest of the glaze.
- Roast for around the same time as you boiled the gammon earlier (so around 20 mins per 500g) at around 160 degrees centigrade and the gammon is ready when the fat on top is glossy and golden brown. It is worth taking the joint out a couple of times during roasting and basting it with the juices. Cover loosely with foil if the top begins to look too brown. Remove the gammon from the oven and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Pour any juices that have collected in the aluminium foil into a small pan, and warm through gently.
- Carve the gammon, serve on a large platter and spoon over the warmed juice.