A Christmas isn't truly Christmas without a golden, gammon centrepiece. It makes an exceptional feast, perfect fodder for gathering loved ones together. The sweet honey contrasts perfectly with the saltiness of the meat, and the black pepper in the sauce adds a real kick! 

The addition of succulent pears and peppery red cabbage slaw provide ideal accompaniments to the gammon, ensuring your feast is fit for a king! 


  • 1
    Unsmoked gammon
  • 2 tbsp
  • 4
    Pears, peeled and cored and cut into thick slices
  • 1/2
    Red cabbage
  • 1 small bunch
  • 1 small bunch
    Flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2
    Lemon, juiced
  • 150ml
  • A drizzle
    Olive oil
  • A pinch
    Sea salt
  • A pinch
    Freshly ground black pepper


  • Find a large casserole dish which is big enough to submerge the gammon, and fill it with water. Gently bring the gammon to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Take out a meat thermometer, and cook until the probe temperature of the thickest part of the gammon is between 88-90°C.

    Remove the casserole dish completely from the heat and allow to cool in the cooking liquid, ideally overnight. When completely cooled, remove from pan and carefully remove the skin, leaving some on the hock if you prefer. Set the cooking liquid to one side. The fat should be set hard, so you can ‘criss-cross’ the fat with 1” deep cuts with a sharp knife.

    Place the scored gammon onto a large baking tray. Heat the oven to 180 to glaze the ham. Pour half the honey over the surface of the gammon and place in the oven for 15 mins. 

    Scatter the pears in the tray around the gammon, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. 

    Finely slice the red cabbage and place in a large bowl. Finely chop the tarragon and add to the red cabbage, add a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and sea salt and black pepper. Scrunch the cabbage, herbs and dressing together by hand, so the red cabbage absorbs the flavour of the dressing and herbs. 

    Take 500ml of the reserved cooking liquid and pour into a small saucepan with a lot of ground black pepper. Add the cream and reduce by a third. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley and whisk into the sauce. 

    Remove the ham from the oven, add the remaining portion of the honey and return for a final 5 minutes. 

    When the ham is fully glazed up remove from the oven and serve in thick slices with the parsley sauce, pears and red cabbage. 

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