When I was growing up we always had an endless stream of relatives and visitors to our house over the Dec / Jan holidays. My mom was very good at organizing the house and the whole family well in advance, moving beds around etc., cleaning and washing everything in sight. My sisters & I had turns to hang out the washing. The washing line wasn’t just outside the back door either, but as we had a terraced garden, the bucket (which was metal) had to be heaved up 2 flights of stairs to the garden above the house; what a job!! We didn’t think of complaining, it was just a job that had to be done, that’s all! The wash lines were between the fruit trees, so if the fruits were ripe, usually plums or apricots in summer, we helped ourselves.
Then came the most important of all jobs, and that was baking and cooking food & meats in advance to stock the freezer with pies & pasta. There are plenty of readymade meals in the supermarkets these days, but like my mom, I still prefer to make my own dishes if possible.
Enjoying making a family meal is what makes me suggest this lovely Gammon recipe for Xmas or New Year or at any time over the holiday period. I learnt how to do it from my mom who usually cooked a turkey as well, and often an ox tongue or corned beef or roast lamb. Tongue wasn’t us children’s favourite, but my dad loved it for some reason! These meats are super, hot or cold, and go especially well with all the beautiful fruit & salads we have available.
There are endless options for left over gammon – use in sandwiches, salads, pies and wraps. Just add a little mayo or sauce of your choice and you have a good healthy meal.
My Recipe – Roast Gammon
1 large boneless gammon, 2kg if possible
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey
Juice of 1 orange
- Place meat in a large deep pot and pour in cold water to cover the meat. Add sugar, a few cloves & some dried herbs.
- Simmer for approx. 2 hours, or less if joint smaller. Keep lid halfway on pot during boiling and turn meat over after 1 hour. Top up with boiling water when necessary.
- Switch off heat and allow meat to cool in the water.
- Drain meat and strip off netting and skin if there is any.
- Score fat into squares stud with cloves.
- Place meat in a roasting pan. Blend 4 tbsp. sugar, honey and orange juice & spread all over meat.
- Roast at 180° for 30-40 min till nicely browned, basting repeatedly during roasting time.
Serve hot or cold with fruit of your choice. Joint can be decorated with tinned pineapple rings and cherries, or fresh or canned apricots & cherries.
Also make a nice mustard and mayo or apple & cranberry sauce to go with the gammon. The gammon pairs well with all our Esona wines