That Christmas couple years ago was actually the first in my life, I prepared all by myself and, apart from one tiny accident, which could result in the arrival of the fire brigade (have a look at jogurt & blackcurrant cake recipe), everything went smoothly 🙂
This beautiful honey glazed smoked gammon was a star of our Christmas dinner, exuding the smell of roast meat and cloves. As it is me, first I bought meat, and then I started looking for how to prepare it. I hesitated between beef, shoulder roast, and gammon. In the end, I was tempted by the vision of delicious crispy rind and the words “smoked”. I realize that the sight of a fat rind deters many people, for me it is a real treat, especially seared and crispy. Of course, you can cut off the rind and bake the gammon with only a thin layer of fat on top. But it won’t be the same anymore. Looks like there are apparently more crispy rind enthusiasts in the UK like me, as on the day before Christmas Eve there was barely no gammon left in the shop. I was pretty much lucky that I managed to find this nice sized smoked piece of meat.
As a rule, smoked meat is salty, so sometimes you need to soak it before the water draws out the excess salt. All the recipes I used to prepare the gammon recommended: ask your butcher if the ham requires soaking beforehand. So I asked my butcher, I mean the label from the packaging, if he recommends anything in this matter. It wasn’t recommended, so I didn’t soak the meat. It was fine for me, but saltiness is a matter of personal preference. Therefore, in this matter I will advise you the same: ask your butcher 😀 This year for sure I will make my meat shopping in a real butcher shop, so I will be able to ask about what he advice.
If you go through the cooking and baking process successfully, a beautiful, juicy, pink, aromatic piece of meat will land on your table. You can serve it with horseradish, beetroot or mustard, or in a more refined version with cranberry jelly. I served it with baked potatoes and red and white onion. But you can choose all sorts of veggies: Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips – that’s the most common in UK, but obviously the choice is yours, so roast whatever you like the best.
I think this year on my table instead of potatoes I will have some parsnips, Brussels sprouts, plenty of onion and garlic cloves. And what’s your plan for this year Christmas roast? Let me know in the comments below.
Christmas honey glazed smoked gammon roast
- about 2 kg of smoked gammon for roasting (with skin)
- 4 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp orange marmalade
- 2 tsp your favorite mustard
- 3 bay leaves
- couple allspice balls
- handful of cloves
Rinse smoked gammon under running water. Take a large pot, and boil some water with bay leaves and allspice. Place the gammon in the pot and cook over low heat for an hour. It should gently simmer.
During this time, prepare the glaze. Mix together honey, sugar, soy sauce, mustard and orange marmalade.
Carefully take the cooked gammon out of the water and put it into a roasting pan. Use a sharp knife to cut the skin into diamonds. Not too deep, so as not to cut the meat. You might need to wait couple minutes until the meat will cool down slightly, in order not to burn yourself. Rub it with half of the glaze, trying to rub it into the skin so that it penetrates between the cuts. Decorate with cloves and pour half a glass of decoction into the pan.
Preheat the oven to 200°C with hot air and bake gammon for about 60 minutes (about 30 minutes for every kilogram). About halfway through baking, grease with the rest of the glaze that is left. Make sure that the rind does not burn, if it is already browning too much, cover the ham with a piece of aluminum foil.
After baking, put it on a platter and serve hot, sliced into approx. 1.5 cm slices.
If there are any leftovers, gammon can be stored in the fridge and thinly cut into sandwiches (with or without skin). You can store the meat refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Keep the decoction – it will be great as a base for soups (lentil soup for example), you can freeeze it in plastic container and use after Christmas.
Enjoy your meal!