I had to wait one week for my gammon but it was well worth the wait. It is not for the first time that I reflect on how lucky we are to have a traditional butcher in town who has his own smoke room out the back. I have absolute confidence that Rondou’s will only use traditional, therefore, natural ingredients, for his cured meats. This gammon was lightly smoked and salted – and boy did it taste magnificent. Salty – but not over-poweringly so. Tender and moist. A gammon is typically coated in honey but the dark, caramel flavours of the maple syrup definitely has something going for it.
Some maple syrup.
Salt & pepper.
With a sharp knife cut into the skin to make a criss-cross pattern. This can be tough going and to be honest I didn’t have a knife sharp enough to accomplish this feat! – but if you can do this. Glaze the entire outside with some maple syrup and insert the cloves into the fat where you cut the skin. Cut an onion and place at the bottom of the roasting dish.
The gammon, although smoked and salted still needs cooking and on the advice of Filip Rondou I roasted mine on a very low heat for around two hours in order to retain moisture and not dry the meat out. I roasted mine on 120 degrees centigrade for two hours.
When ready remove from the oven and slice into pieces.
For the mustard sauce
Remove some of the juices from the roasting pan and add to a small sauce pan. Add a tbs. of mustard, some salt & pepper, a good amount of cream, a sprinkling of nutmeg and some arrow root or flour to thicken the sauce. If necessary add some water or milk to make the sauce go further. Simmer over a medium heat until the flour begins to bind.
You can serve this with so many combinations. Because there is already enough salt in the meat I served it with simple boiled potatoes, some cauliflower cheese, sauerkraut and a dark green salad. You could also serve this with broad beans in a parsley sauce – a very traditional British combination.
The family really enjoyed this dish and I had more than enough left over to freeze two extra meals. I also had enough diced meat left to make the classic Mac&Cheese (always a winner with the kids) as well as some for my pea and ham soup. A cut like this is very economical and goes a long way to feed a family of six. Best of all it couldn’t be easier to make. With very little effort you have a great family meal.