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sugar glazed gammon

Serves 6 people, takes around 2 hours to make.

  • 1 piece of middle cut gammon, rolled and tied, approx 1.75kg
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 2 table spoons muscovado or dark brown, soft sugar
  • 1 table spoon english mustard powder
  • 750ml strong, dry cider, the tastier the better

Put the gammon in a large saucepan, big enough so the meat can sit in the pan without touching the sides. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. When it has begun to boil, take it off the stove and throw the water away.

Stick 10-12 cloves into the peeled onion and add to the pot, with the bay leaves and peppercorns. Pour in 600ml of the cider (or more if you want) then top off with water until the ham is covered again. Bring to the boil then leave the meat to simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove the gammon and and let it sit for a while, then using a sharp knife cut the string off, and cut the skin from the fat. Stand the meat fat-side up and score the fat lightly at a 45 degree angle, about a centimetre apart, first one way, then the other. The pattern should resemble small diamonds scored into the fat. Into the center of each diamond, stick a clove. This should use 30 or so cloves.

Put the gammon into a large roasting tin. Mix the sugar and mustard in a small cup, add a few drops of water to turn it into a thick paste if necessary. Paint the sides, top and fatty parts of the gammon with this paste, but make sure to save a few teaspoons of the paste for the final glaze. Pour over the remaining cider and put the gammon into a pre-heated oven at 200°C.

Bake for 30 minutes, basting occasionally with some of the cider in the bottom of the roasting tin. After 30 minutes, smear the remaining sugar/mustard over the top of the gammon, to form a tasty glaze (the roasted glaze is the tastiest part). Bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Very tasty with roasted sweet potatoes.