Serves 10 or more
Cured gammon joint or
ham joint (I used a 2.5kg
(51⁄2lb) ham off the bone)
1 small handful of black
2 bay leaves
1cm (1⁄2in) piece of fresh
ginger, finely grated
1 star anise
1 large handful of cloves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled,
crushed and squashed
Finely grated zest and juice
of 1⁄2 orange
220g (71⁄2oz) honey
340g (12oz) soft light
1 red chilli, deseeded and
finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
100ml (4fl oz) soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground
1. Cured joints can be very salty, so it's best to soak the joint in cold water overnight. If you're short on time, or just clean forgot to soak it the nightbefore, instead cook the joint in a large pan of water for 40 minutes to get rid of excess salt.
2. Remove from the pan and discard the salted liquid.Weigh the joint to calculate the cooking time. 3. Place in a clean pan and cover completely with water. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves, ginger,
star anise and half the cloves, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat
to a simmer. The joint needs 20 minutes simmering time per 450g (1lb) (so mine took 1 hour 50 minutes).
4. Thirty minutes before the joint is ready, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas Mark 7.
5. Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small pan, heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for 25 minutes until reduced and thickened.
6. Remove the joint from the water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Keep the cooking liquid, it is delicious. (I boil it like mad to reduce the quantity and increase the flavour, adding carrots, onions, a splash of Madeira and some seasoning for a tummy-warming soup.)
7. Remove the thick layer of skin (but not the fat) from the joint. Use a sharp small knife to score the meat diagonally, then change direction and score the other way to form diamonds.
8. Stick the remaining cloves into the holes where the lines cross, then pour the glaze over the meat.
9. Put the joint in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. It can catch easily at this point because of the honey, so keep a close eye on it!
10. Once the joint is cooked, remove from the oven and cover loosely with baking paper to allow it to ‘rest'. This evens out the temperature and makes the meat more juicy. Serve with hunks of bread and cold potatoes.
Taken from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale published by HarperCollins, priced £18.99