Saturday, 12 November 2011


Traditionally at Christmas time we would have a huge joint of ham.. alongside the turkey. For days after we would have the most gorgeous teas. Sandwiches with turkey & ham, ham with stuffings, ham with cranberry etc. Its silly really we have ham all year round but its this time of year which seems to lend itself so beautifully to ham & all its multiple uses & flavours. Ham stock, ham & lentil soup, ham sandwiches with lentil soup. It's just an all round full flavour which can be gently persuaded to become infused with any  preferred fragrance or flavour. Often bathed in cider, coated in maple syrup or black treacle, showered in cloves & garlic. If you haven't much time, try chucking into the pot  a mulled wine tea bag :) he he  it actually adds great flavours to the ham.  'Ham' or is it Gammon .. anyway really does allow much experimenting. Do try the multiple ways ham can be enjoyed & served.
This particular time we enjoyed a marinated ham simply served with one of my favourite accompaniments . . cauliflower cheese  & a pile of green veggies :D   Mmmmmmm so soooo good, hearty warming, sustaining & yes  a little naughty but very nice.  Great news too the supermarkets seem to be selling off their little gammon joints often 2 for the price of 1 so its hard not to indulge frequently :)

Large Saucepan
Cold Water
Unsmoked Gammon Joint

Marinating Cooking Flavours
Cloves, Cinnamon
Garlic, Ginger
Black Treacle, Maple Syrup
Cider,  Apple Juice
(these are just a few I use (not all at the same time) of course you can add any flavours you prefer)

Melody of Greens: Green Beans, Runner Beans, Petit Pois, Leeks, Broad Beans etc etc

Large Cauliflower
Cheese SaucePlain Flour

Strong /Mature Cheddar
English Mustard Powder

  • Rinse ham in cold water.
  • Place in container full of cold water & store over night. Change water a few times to remove excess salt (even unsmoked ham is too salty)
  • Remove ham from water rinse again then add to large saucepan. 
  • Cover with cider, add spices & treacle
  • Pop onto stove add lid & bring to the boil
  • Allow to simmer for a couple of hours or after an hour remove from water & roast.
  • I sometimes just leave mine in the marinade & serve when needed.

For the Cauli Cheese: 
  • Remove all of the outer leaves.
  • Score a cross in the base of the cauli stalk
  • Plunge into boiling salted water & cook for around 7 minutes.
  • Remove from boiling water & rinse beneath cold water until cauli feels cold (this prevents it from further cooking & becoming too soft)
  • Add large lump of butter into saucepan, melt down then add a handful of flour
  • Gently stir in flour & cook it out over the heat  til it bubbles
  • Add little flows of milk to the flour & butter until all the milk is used & you have a lovely thick but pouring consistency to create the sauce
  • Add a large pinch of English mustard
  • Once you have a lovely creamy white sauce grate the cheese and add
  • Keep stirring until the cheese melts into the sauce. Remove from heat to use .
  • Place the whole cauli into a tureen, pour the cheese sauce over the cauli
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Place into a pre heated oven for around 45 mins
  • Serve immediately with the gorgeous ham & a melody of greens
  • ENJOY!!!
  • Also remember the chutneys made in the Summer, well they're now ready to have with the remaining cheese as sandwiches :)
  • In the Summer its great as a ploughman's lunch in our cold Winters the ham sarni is equally delicious with lentil soup, chutneys etc 

Mmmmmmmm indulge & enjoy xxx


  1. Ok, I won't mention the C word... but one of my favourite parts of that unmentionable time around the 25th December is cold sliced ham on 26th (and hopefully 27th, cooked in cider, spiked with cloves, hot with mustard and sweet with honey/molasses/brown sugar - and I love veg simmered in the cooking water. I love this post. You've made me anticipate the 25th December even more.

  2. Gorgeous isn't it. All of our chutneys are maturing to their best so we have some gorgeous flavours to accompany the ham & cold meat boxing feast :)
    I must remember to make a post in July & call it Christmas or Boxing Day Chutneys as they are truly delectable & most worthy of serving side by side the cold meats. My fav this year is green apple chutney I can't even tell you perfectly this marries with the ham & some strong, mature & ripe cheeses. Mmmmmmmmm

    Happy December - surpass yourself in creativity but do remember to please share your successes :D lol