Get all the basics on gammon, for a tasty and stress-free festive season.
While gammon has earned itself a festive reputation, it truly is the all-year-round gift that just keeps on giving. From eggs Benedict to epic picnic sandwiches and lavish New Year’s Eve celebratory spreads, gammon makes every event spectacular. To ensure you enjoy the perfect gammon this holiday season, we’ve answered all your burning gammon questions.
Which gammon should you choose?
Once you’ve got the guest list down, it’s time to choose the main event – the gammon! Cured and smoked, your choices are endless when it comes to picking the right meaty joint, but wet-cured is the way to go. All the hard work has been done for you and it’s a guaranteed flavour bomb. Opt for a bone-out gammon as well, as they are quicker to cook and easier to carve and serve – we’re all for tasty convenience.
How much gammon is enough?
As the centrepiece of any good celebratory spread, make sure there is ample gammon to go round. Allow for about 200g per person and always remember more is more, especially when it comes to gammon. We highly recommend overestimating the amount to cater for those delicious leftover gammon sandwiches.
How should you prepare the perfect gammon?
The first step to preparing your gammon is to simmer it gently in a large pot filled with a well-seasoned broth. Bring the broth to the boil, pop in the gammon (ensure it is still encased in the netting), and immediately reduce the heat. Pro tip: never allow your gammon to boil as this will cause it to become dry and have a grainy texture. Simmer for 20 minutes per 450g of gammon, plus an extra 20 minutes at the end (bone-in gammon may take a bit longer).
Well-seasoned broths make all the difference here – flavour it with aromatic ingredients such as onions, carrots, parsley, whole peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, oranges, cinnamon, star anise, or fresh pineapple or orange juice. A flavourful broth knows no bounds and your gammon will thank you for it.
Leave the gammon to cool in the broth and once cooled, remove the netting and the tough outer layer of skin – it should peel off effortlessly. Score the fat with a knife. For a traditional feel, dot a few whole cloves into the fatty layer after scoring, followed by tinned pineapples and cherries. Place the gammon onto a roasting tray that has been lined with a baking paper.
The last – and most important – step is the glaze. Think all things sticky and sweet! Honey or syrup mixed in with some mustard makes for the perfect gammon glaze, but marmalade or apricot jam works a charm too. Coat the gammon with a liberal amount of the glaze and grill or roast until the glaze is nicely caramelised.
It’s the smoked meaty bites followed by sweet, caramelised pops of flavour that make a gammon-laden meal the best! Not to mention it’s the perfect protein to accompany stress-free entertaining as you can prepare everything in advance and simply glaze and grill as your guests enjoy their welcome drinks.
Try our fuss-free gammon recipe here.
Looking to try something new? Give one of these gammon recipes a go.