Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 2 May 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Gammon Slow Cooked with Balsamic Vinegar -- Low Fat Recipe

There is a useful disambiguation of beef and pork cuts in Separated by a Common Language 
and since I am going to talk about GAMMON here I suggest this as a starter for shopping if you live in the US.

"[Ham and gammon] are both pork but ham is usually a leg of pork that has been aged, cured, smoked or cooked. Usually in the UK, its wet cured in a brine (salt) solution, then it's cooked. Gammon is the hind leg cut from a side of bacon, so it's cured (again in brine) but it's not cooked before you get it."
Gammon is not 'matured' like ham. Rather it is preserved. It has a less strong flavour than ham and a more open texture. My butcher assures me that upper leg of pork is basically the same cut but the brine changes the colour, texture and flavour of the meat -- otherwise it's just pork -- not gammon.
 sorry about the advert

For my purposes in the following recipe, the gammon joint has been boned and brined but not smoked. Also I tend to buy one that has little or no fat on it. (I would pick a leaner one than above.) If I wanted to roast it I would need the fat but this recipe is for a Slow Cooker/Crock-pot.
Buy 2 - 3 lb Gammon Joint
Because it is brined my first stage in cooking is to SOAK the gammon overnight in a large quantity of water. This prevents the dish from being too salty.

Put your slow cooker on HIGH
Dry the gammon using some kitchen paper. 
Heat some oil in a frying pan and sear it on all sides 'til it is nice and brown.
Place it in the slow cooker 

In a large jug or in the pan, mix:
1 cup hot vegetable stock
half cup Balsamic Vinegar
1tbs tomato puree/paste
1tbs soy sauce
1 tsb honey (I use Manuka as it has a stronger flavour)
half a red pepper diced
2 cloves garlic peeled.

Put the lid on. Go out and have a nice day :)

This dish will cook all day 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-6 hours on HIGH. You decide. It'll be waiting for you when you get home.
Place on a large platter, pull apart with two forks, drizzle with some of the juices and serve with salad or roasted roots or a robust green vegetable such as cabbage or sprouts. It also likes sweetcorn, pickles and Coleman's English Mustard

and you can freeze what's left to eat cold with salad or in sandwiches. This one is a winner :)