I bought a gammon from Iceland for the Christmas festivities – it was … OK, but not great, and very salty, so it languished in the fridge. There was also half a chunk of Gruyere, as I had done dauphinoise potatoes with the Christmas lunch, and some cream.
So last night, Pete sliced potatoes very thinly on the mandolin (which terrifies me, so I make him do it), while I chopped red onion, tackled the Gruyere with a potato peeler (easier than grating for this sort of thing), and diced up leftover gammon.
Into a nice cast iron dish went a layer of spud, then onion, gammon, garlic powder, black pepper, Gruyere and some cream. We added another layer of spud, more cheese (always moar! cheese!), more cream, and a sprinkling of rosemary. Bunged in the oven for an hour, and readers – it was gorgeous. And there was enough left for lunch today, accompanied by home made lentil/veg soup.
We had it with brussels sprouts (don’t care – we love ’em), mixed with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, and roasted in the oven. De-li-cious.
I pulled this hunk of MP^H^H pig out of the freezer yesterday morning, meaning to check later in the day as to whether it was cooked or not (I really should label things better).
I didn’t check, and it is uncooked, sadly, so there will be no gammon for lunch today. But there will be gammon for lunch tomorrow, as I have hurled it into the slow cooker with 1l of coke (all that was in the house, as we don’t drink it), two oranges cut into quarters, juice squeezed into the pot and the orange remains put in too, a dessertspoon or so of coriander seeds, and half a cinnamon stick.
Continuing in the mission to make space in the freezers, Pete found a small rib of beef, and half a large gammon in the outside one yesterday. The rib is for today’s dinner (yum), and I did this with the gammon:
Put it in the slow cooker skin side down, discovering – with some amazement – that the lid would actually go on. Cut a jaffa orange into quarters, squeezed the juice over the exposed meat, and put the squished segments in the pot. Cut up a wizened apple similarly, and hurled it in. Added half a cinnamon stick, three star anise, and three slices of fresh ginger.
Cooked it on low for about nine hours, I guess, then left it in the water overnight. Will shortly skin it and paint it with a glaze of mustard and maple syrup, then roast it off in the oven (which currently contains a reactive fruit cake, using up some fresh cranberries and dried prunes).
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but we often buy a huge gammon from Costco, and cook it up for lunches. I generally buy one that’s about twenty quid, put half in the freezer uncooked, and then cook the other half. Then depending on what we’re doing, we might freeze a cooked quarter too.
I experiment with cooking liquors and glazes. This half was boiled in three small bottles of ginger beer, topped up with water, some star anise, a quartered orange and a cinnamon stick.
When it was done, I cut off the skin, and glazed it with a mix of grain mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar. Roasted at gas 4 for half an hour, then whacked it up to gas 8 for twenty minutes.
It worked beautifully, and we kept the stock to make this week’s soup, which I shall write up later.