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Let’s speak of ham, shall we? - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Let’s speak of ham, shall we?
Look, it’s that time of year, Sooner or later, you’re going to have a ham. Ye Olde Corner of Gammon.
It really needn’t be boring, you know.
I shall assume you know how to bake a ham. On second thoughts, no, I shan’t. Right, then.
At its most basic, you take a four pound ham, soak it overnight, strain it, scrape the outer skin, put it in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover and few spices, bring it to the boil, skim off the scum, reduce it to a simmer, cover it and cook it for 90 minutes, and then remove it to a another ovenproof plate, and, before it gets cold, score the skin, cover it with such sauces and spices as you like, and bake it for about half an hour in an oven preheated to 190 °C / 375 °F / Gas 5.
A doddle. Dead easy. Rather dull.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Three days prior, take a pound of mixed dried fruits – apples, pears, apricots, sultanas, and raisins – dashes of cinnamon, clove (ground), and nutmeg, a pint of cider, and half a pint of cider vinegar. Put all of this together in one of those clever plastic tubs or bags that will seal and that is large enough to hold the fruit as it absorbs all the liquid. (If any remains, see next step.)
When you soak the ham, don’t soak in water. Soak in it in a cider and vinegar mix.
And boil it in the same. The spices used for boiling and simmering want to be:
2 whole cloves
4 whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon of Demerara sugar
1½  teaspoon of chopped fresh sage.
Now, when you have removed the ham and allowed it to cool, you will want to mix up the following topping whilst it cools:
1 oz fresh butter
1 oz Demerara sugar
1 tablespoon local honey, golden syrup, or the two admixed. Or treacle
Cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, &c, to taste
1 teaspoon of English mustard
Mix this well. Score the top of the gammon fat with a diamond pattern and press the topping on to it firmly. Cover and surround with the macerated fruit. Peg ’em down with cloves if necessary. Pour a quarter pint of cider over all. Now bake the damned thing an oven preheated to 190 °C / 375 °F / Gas 5 for half an hour or until what you can see of the topping is golden.

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9 comments or Leave a comment
sassy_cissa From: sassy_cissa Date: October 20th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay.....I'd like that right now please. :D

Sounds delish and will be certain to try over the holiday season
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 20th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

I really do think you'll like it.

Dead easy and not at all bad.
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: October 20th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm, lovely! Thank you.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 20th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

I do hope it suits.

It's always worked well for me.
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: October 21st, 2011 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Can't eat pig, but can imagine how gloriously caramelised that crackling would be!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 21st, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

It really is.

If you can manage goose, read the next post.
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: October 22nd, 2011 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: It really is.

Goose is everything proper about Christmas. Even during my vegan period I would take some of the goose served up at family Chrimbo – I knew that it had had a happy and indulged life that ended in a brief walk and a short, sharp shock it would not have felt ;-)
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 21st, 2011 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm Afraid of Fresh Sage

It's weird and fuzzy. Can I use the dried stuff, or is there another, less alien-looking herb I should use?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 21st, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Dried is fine.

Adjust as necessary.
9 comments or Leave a comment