Friday, December 29, 2006

Baked Gammon with Parsley Sauce

Robert got a lovely piece of gammon from the butcher today. It weighs about 2kg so should take about 1 ½ hours to cook. Because you can never tell how salty it’s going to be, I think roasting it without pre-boiling is a bit risky. I've put mine in a pan with a sliced carrot, onion, celery stalk and couple of peppercorns and rosemary sprigs, covered with water, brought it to the boil, covered it and simmered gently for 45 minutes. Half way through, I tasted the water for salt. At this stage, if it is very salty, drain off most of the cooking liquid and top up with a kettle of boiling water. Mine was not too salty.

Lift out the gammon and pat dry. If you want to make pea and ham soup, cut a thick slice off the joint and keep the cooking liquid. Place the joint in a roasting tin and roast at 180C for 30 minutes. Mix together two tablespoons of maple syrup and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Brush this over the the gammon, turn the heat right up and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Parsley sauce
Make a white sauce using butter, flour and warm milk (add half an onion to the milk as it warms if you want). If you’re not making the soup, add a bit of the cooking stock to the milk. Add a big bunch of curly parsley and whizz until smooth with a hand blender. Add salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

Stir fried cabbage
Heat a splash of sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan and cook a sliced onion and garlic clove for a couple of minutes. Add sliced Savoy cabbage and cook over the highest heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Add a splash of water, lower the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes or so until the cabbage is tender.

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