|The Gammon is hiding under the creamed leeks|
see the slices, peeping out all pinkly, there?
Sunday, to me, demands something a bit special in the meal department. There's no real reason why - it's not as though we starve for the remaining six days, so need to stock up for leaner times ahead. I suspect that it's just a hangover from my upbringing when we would always have a roast on a Sunday, with a special dessert. When people came round to eat with us, wine was served - and at Christmas, we had the Mother and Father of all roasts, with fruit or tomato juice to drink beforehand, a starter, then the Roast Turkey with all the trimmings, together with three choices of dessert - all followed by sweetmeats such as Turkish Delight, glace fruits, chocolate eclairs and nuts, served with a sweet dessert wine or liqueurs. I take my hat off to my Mum and my Aunt - and in earlier days, my Nanna - who slaved over hot stoves for days beforehand doing all the baking and then got up before we'd gone to bed to put the Turkey in the oven.
All this, has resulted in it not being Sunday unless there's a roast on the table.
So, this Sunday (and because they're on special offer at the supermarket), we pushed the boat out and got a gammon joint. Not, regrettably, one of the "real" gammon joints (we're saving up for one for Christmas), but one of the rolled, munched up and stuck back together again, gammon joints. It may not have been your pukka thing - but it sure tasted good!
Considering I'd had such success with pot roasting chickens, I thought I'd step it up a gear and pot roast the gammon. I thought that at least, that way, it wouldn't shrink as terribly as they often do when just plain roasted and it would stand a chance of staying succulent and moist.
The recipe was one of my own, gleaned from various recipes I'd read during my research. I wanted it to be a veggie-based broth it was cooked in, rather than a spice-based broth. Even though I'm just hopping up and down to use my new Star Anise, I thought I'd stay on the veggie side and see how we got on.
So, as we were having creamed leeks, I used the leek tops and two onions cut into quarters, plus a hoary old carrot that was looking for a home. All these, combined with the cider, made a glorious stock that was just beyond tasty when made into gravy.
I served the Gammon with the creamed leeks, which were easily made by sweating the sliced leek in butter and, when softened, a large tablespoon of creme fraiche and some Worcestershire Sauce is added. Mix it all together, add some seasoning and there you have it - creamed leeks. I'd planned to serve some Chantenais carrots and swede batons, but discovered some Brussels sprouts in the veggie drawer, so they got included too. With roast potatoes and roast parsnips, together with the ubiquitous Yorkshire Puddings, it was the kind of dinner that Sundays were made for.
GAMMON HAM POT ROAST
1.5kg gammon ham joint
2 onions, quartered
Any other veg., like leek tops, carrot, celery
300ml dry cider
4 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp ground coriander
3 heaped tsp English mustard powder
Lay the vegetables into the bottom of a large lidded oven-proof saucepan or casserole.
Nestle the joint into the vegetables and pour over the cider.
“Paint” spoonfuls of the honey/mustard mixture over the joint.
Bring to the boil on the stove top and then place, covered, into a pre-heated oven at 170deg C for 2 to 2½ hours.
When done, remove the meat and put it to rest, covered in foil in a warm place, for around 20 minutes.
Pour the juices from the pan into a smaller saucepan, add cornflour or gravy granules to thicken for gravy.