Saturday, January 1, 2011

... Ham Stories

Sadly, this is not a post about crazy Uncle Cecil and his amazing family burlesque show ... rather this post is for my Corfu friends who were impressed with my ham wrangling.  It's a sort of 'photo doc' recipe for putting one together.  (for the sake of the blog, I made another one for Christmas... and it was wonderful.) 

So, here is the where, how, and what I did to make it happen.  (sort of like the olive harvest to the oil pressing post )

This is the place I go to pick it up.  (On the Paleocastritsa road, a little ways past the Casa Lucia sign, on the right hand side - with Town behind you- just next to the gas station.)

The interior of the place with the very nice gentleman (and his family) who run it.  Obviously he sells many other pork things.  He speaks a bit of English and he is charming. 

The "ham" (aka gammon)  Three kilos (+) was under 25 euros.

The before soaking and after soaking:  fill a big pot with apple juice and refill the carton with water.  Make sure the ham is covered completely.  (I'm sure you could use cider as well.  I have also just used water which works fine too)  Put it in the refrigerator and let it soak for about 24 hours.

Empty the pot and remove the ham.  Tie ham into a hamlike shape- don't use colored or plastic string.  (you might have to cut a few pieces off but LEAVE the skin on!)  Next put it back in the pot and refill with water.  Cover the ham.  Bring to a boil and skim.  Leave to very slow boil for about 90 minutes for a 3 + kilo (about 6.5 lbs) ham, roughly 10 minutes a pound.  Let cool and if not cooking refrigerate pot and all.    For all intents and purposes you now have a "cooked" ham, and you CAN eat it.

But, this is the best part;  take the ham out of its cooking juice (it will probably be a bit jellyfied, or at least thicker than water.  I keep about two cups back to make gravy).  Carefully cut the string off and very gently with a sharp knife cut the thick skin off the top of the fat, leaving the fat on the ham.

Turn the oven on at 160C/350F and preheat.  Put the ham in a casserole or baking dish.  Assemble the ingredients for the glaze.

For the glaze I used honey, dark brown sugar, seedy mustard, dijon mustard and soya sauce.  I don't have a recipe- sometimes I use marmalade instead of the seedy mustard and soya sauce, (use whatever tastes right to you....) Don't make too much of it, though. (based on previous experience...)

Bake ham in the oven for about an hour or so. (it's cooked, you just want to heat it up.) Slather the ham with glaze for the last 10 minutes.

Ta-da!  That was our Christmas dinner (which we actually had on Monday cause we both had a bad cold on Christmas Day...)


  1. Oh that looks so delicious. How I miss ham, and pork chops, and bacon, and pork sausages...sob :-((

  2. That looks lovely! We often had a Spiral-cut Honey-Baked Ham for Christmas, when I lived in California. The Honey-Baked Ham Store's hams just have this special flavour that I've never been able to replicate. But, maybe I'll just do as you've done and cook a raw gammon. Sandwiches for days after! With Honey Mustard!
    Happy New Year!
    Hugs and quiches from Kitty x

  3. Sounds and looks delicious Jes. :)

  4. That looks like it turned out well! I nearly always manage to pick ones that are too salty...

  5. Dear Ayak,

    I remember!! (lol!)

    Dear Kitty,

    It's actually really good! It's not a smoked ham flavor (because it's not smoked gammon) but it's definitely ham. Good luck with it (and your honey mustard sauce!)

    Dear Cheryl,

    It was YUM. (and the leftovers were pretty good too! Might post one of the many things I did with it...)

    Dear Eric,

    The salt thing is the "gammon" part, that's why you really need to soak the gammon for at least 12 hours (and even 24!) Then boiling it also leaches out some of the salt.

    As I mentioned, the baking part is just heating through the already cooked ham!

    As for the gammon part, when you trim the beast, as you tie it up to boil, you can cut off a few pieces and cook them as gammon steaks or bits, (nice with eggs and fried potatoes for brunch!!)

  6. We've just cured a ham from one of the pigs so part of it will now be soaking ready for mid week eating. I used to diamond cut the fat and stud with cloves, then use a honey and mustard glaze...but yours looks better.

  7. Fly: You just jogged my memory with your comment. That's how my Mother would do a ham when I was little: diamond cut the fat, stud it with a clove in the centre of each diamond, then boil together until thick and gloopy the heavy syrup from a can of sliced pineapple, some brown sugar and Colman's dry mustard. She would baste the ham with this as it cooked and make a gravy with the pan drippings and the last of the glaze. (Then Dad would make this salady thing with the sliced pineapple and Hellmans/Best Foods mayonnaise over Iceberg lettuce - hated it.)

    I can picture us eating that meal sitting around the big glass table in Covina.

    I'm sticking with Truestarr's version... ;)



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