A long standing drinking chum of mine in Seoul has made a special request that I put this one in writing (before senility or booze erases it from my memory cells).
To put a little bit of “touchy feely” family appeal to this one, it is a recipe passed down to me by my father.
- One smoked gammon (allow 1lb per person).
- Tinned pineapple chunks in syrup (don’t buy the unsweetened “healthy” variety, the syrup is used in the sauce and has more flavour).
- Powdered English mustard
- Demerara sugar
Soak the gammon overnight in cold water, make sure that it is fully covered by the water. The soaking process is important as it removes the excess salt.
Place the soaked gammon in a pot of cold water (water almost covering the gammon). Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes per lb. Should you be cooking a large piece that requires lengthy cooking, then don’t forget to keep an eye on the water and top up accordingly to prevent boiling dry.
Whilst the gammon is simmering, prepare the marinade:
- Drain the pineapple chunks and set aside, DO NOT THROW AWAY THE SYRUP THIS FORMS PART OF THE MARINADE!
- Stir in two teaspoons of the English mustard into the syrup.
- Stir in four tablespoons of demerara sugar into the syrup.
- Add water to bring the volume of liquid up to approximately half a pint.
- Heat gently in a saucepan until the sugar and mustard are fully dissolved. DO NOT BRING TO THE BOIL. Take off the heat and set aside.
When the gammon is cooked, removed from the water and place in a roasting tin.
- Gently peel off the rind (skin) of the gammon (do not remove the fat). Place this rind in the water which you cooked the gammon (you will be able to make split pea soup from this).
- Score the fat of the gammon in a criss cross fashion creating one inch squares, much like a chess board.
- Insert one clove in each alternate square, and one pineapple chunk (with a toothpick) in the non cloved square until the fat side of the gammon is fully decorated.
- Pour the marinade over the gammon, making sure all parts are covered.
- Place the gammon in the oven (preheated to 180 degrees).
- Bake for 45-60 minutes (the gammon remember is already cooked, this process serves to caramelise the marinade).
- Baste the gammon regularly to make sure it is receives the full flavour of the marinade.
- Remove form the oven place on a serving dish and allow to rest before carving. Pour the juices from the roasting tray into a sauce boat and serve with the dish.
I recommend this dish be served with mashed potatoes, pease pudding (I can provide you with recipe for this) and carrots.
I specify a smoked gammon, this is down to personal preference as to my view the flavour is superior to unsmoked. When selecting the gammon make sure that:
- It has a rind.
- It is covered in a good even layer of fat (this is an integral part to the flavour, without it the dish does not work).
I specify tinned pineapple chunks, if you want to make extra work for yourself by all means buy a fresh pineapple and cube it yourself…but tinned chunks from a reputable brand are every bit as good.
By the way for all you scientists out there, pineapple has an enzyme in it that when brought into contact with pork acts as a natural tenderiser (the dish I present here does not need tenderising, but I thought I would throw in that small piece of trivia).