Husband rather tired and emotional this weekend (still recovering from his company’s boozy Christmas party on Friday), so although he’s restless in bed there have been no cuddles.So going to take out my frustration by shooting a few (or hopefully rather a lot of) clays in the field. This is one country pursuit that I really enjoy – there is a great feeling of satisfaction blasting the little flying saucers out of the sky! Then we’re planning to collect kindling in the woods on our dog walk, come home and light a fire, read the Sunday rags and chill. Son comes home this evening, so will prepare a family favourite for supper: sugar glazed gammon. Will be doing another, larger piece, over Christmas because it is economical, delicious, everyone seems to love it, keeps well in fridge or freezer, and is scrummy with egg and chips the day after (and the day after that!). I have often been asked for my recipe, which is based on one of Delia’s, but never give it – until today! It is my little Christmas present to all those lovely people who read our blog:
Ingredients (serves 6 with plenty left over to eat cold)
Half leg bone in green gammon, onion studded with few cloves, 2 bayleaves, pint dry cider, cloves, tspn black peppercorns, dark brown sugar, English mustard.
1. Put joint into very large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to boil, empty water.
2. Add bayleaves, peppercorns, onion and half the cider, cover with cold water again, bring to boil then simmer with lid on for one hour.
3. Remove gammon onto roasting dish, let cool a little. (Keep some of poaching liquid as stock/to make delicious gravy). Cut string off gammon and peel away skin. Score fat diagonally to form diamond shaped pattern. Into each diamond insert a clove. With your hands, gently pat plenty of mustard over joint and then press lots of brown sugar on top. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in rest of cider and roast in 200 degree oven for 1.5 hours, basting now and then. If your guests are late, or enjoying pre-lunch drinks too much, no problem – this gammon keeps beautifully moist if you cover in foil and leave in a very low oven. Serve with Cumberland sauce, gravy, buttery mashed potatoes and a dark green vegetable.