Buying your Gammon
Our gammons are traditionally brine-cured in a salt and sugar mixture for about a week. Once they have been removed from the brine, we leave them to air dry for a further week. This sets up the joint nicely to give you a firm but yielding texture and intensifies the sweet-salty flavour.
The first step in selecting the size of your gammon. You will need to work out how many guests you are feeding. We recommend four to five portions per kilo of meat. However, I would always advise, as the ham is so delicious and makes the best leftovers, you go for more than you need. The gammon, once cooked and turned into ham survives well in the freezer. I'm a firm believer that if you are going to go to a lot of trouble to cook a dish, you should make enough for an army and savour the leftovers for a rainy day.
How to Cook a Gammon
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.
The fat should be set hard, so you can ‘criss-cross’ the fat with 1” deep cuts with a sharp knife.
Place in a roasting pan and cover the fat with a glaze of your choice.
Place in a moderate oven (or pizza oven!) for 30 minutes, removing from the oven every 10 minutes to baste the gammon with the juices from the pan.
The total cooking time will be between 4-8 hours depending on the size of the gammon.