Friday, 13 July 2012

Apple Poached Gammon with Peach Butter Glaze

Last Sunday, there was a new experience in the Ellwood household. Roast dinners are not an uncommon experience in our house- but the usual victims are (in no particular order) Lamb, Beef and Chicken. Duck on special occasions. Gammon?  Mr E hadn't even had Gammon like this, let alone in our time. Have you? I remember it as a childhood family favourite, but for some reason it has been neglected in recent years.

Not anymore. It was declared an instant hit, not least by me as it was so easy to do!

P.S. OK, so I should probably admit that this isn't technically a roast, but it's along the same lines and makes a great alternative.

Apple Poached Gammon with Peach Butter Glaze

1kg middle gammon
Few fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 litre apple juice
1 litre boiling water
3 tbsps peach butter (I LOVE this recipe from Smitten Kitchen
3 tbsps Apricot Jam
2 tbsps light brown sugar 


1. The day before you cook the joint, check how salty it is (the curing process can make it very salty). To do this, cut a very thin slice off the underside and pan-fry for a few minutes and taste. If it’s too salty, soak the joint in plenty of cold water overnight, changing the water occasionally.

2. Put the joint on a trivet/ upside down saucer/ apple slicer (which is what I used and it worked perfectly!) in a large pan. This stops it from coming into contact with direct heat, which would lead to those parts cooking at a different pace from the rest. Add 6 cloves, the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Pour in the apple juice and boiling water to just cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes (or 20 minutes per 500g, in case your joint is smaller/ larger). Skim off any scum occasionally.  
3. After 40 minutes turn off the heat and leave the joint to cool in the cooking liquid until cool enough to handle. Remove from the saucepan and put onto a board. With the help of a small knife, cut away and discard the skin, but try not to remove too much of the fat. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7.

4. Lightly score the exposed fat in a diamond pattern, but don't cut cut all the way through to the meat. Stir the peach butter/ apricot jam and sugar together then brush all over the scored fat. Push cloves into the centre of each diamond (ok, ok, you may have noticed that I got this wrong and put them at the corners of the diamonds- oops!). Actually, another tip which I learnt from my mistakes (I hope you didn't think I was perfect) is that if your joint has an area that hasn't got any fat (see the right side of the picture above) then cover this in a little foil to stop it from overcooking.
5. Roast for 20 minutes, until golden brown (more golden than mine is, ideally... we were hungry!). Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving. 
We served this with buttery mash, parmesan peas, creamy baked leeks with a parmesan crust and my attempt at "Red Lobster" biscuits :)

Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine

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