"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed."
- Martina Navratilova
As I'm sure you all know, a mother always knows best. Mine has often talked-up the benefits of the slow cooker. She marvels at the joys of preparing her food in the morning, then going off to work while it simmers its way to a perfectly cooked dinner. Not one to heed my mother's advice (shame on me) and as a long-time believer of 'try before you buy', I decided to hijack her kitchen for a few hours and give it a go for myself. This Slow Cooked Gammon Joint with a Marmalade Glaze was the outcome. It turned out pretty well and the taste and smell reminds me of Christmas, so it's a win-win (I might just get my own slow cooker after-all).
Some of you might be wondering what exactly is a gammon joint (I'm looking at you America!). Just so you know, 'Gammon' is a U.K. term for a cut of pork from the hind leg that is often cured the same way as bacon. It's similar to the American ham, but a gammon is sold raw and needs to be cooked. Gammon steaks are found on most British bar menus, often served with a fried egg or pineapple (or if you're lucky, both!).
Step 1: The Ingredients
To cook the gammon joint you will need the following ingredients:
- 1.40Kg (3lb) Gammon Joint
- Whole Cloves
- 750ml (approx.) Cloudy Apple Juice
- 100g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Ground Cloves
- Orange (Zest Only)
- 115g (4oz) Fine Cut Orange Marmalade
You might also find the following items useful:
- Slow Cooker (obviously!)
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Weighing Scales
- Wooden Skewer
- Teaspoons (for measuring)
- Oven-Proof Dish
- Aluminium Foil
Step 2: Preparing the Gammon Joint
The first step is to prepare the gammon (ham) joint for cooking. Using a sharp knife score the fat into a neat diamond pattern with a uniform spacing. Cut as deep as the thickness of your fat allows without cutting into the meat itself.
Press a single clove into each corner of the diamonds.
Tip: Use a skewer to pierce a hole in the joint to make it easier to push in the cloves.
Then place the gammon joint into the slow cooker.
Step 3: Preparing for Cooking
Pour the apple juice into the slow cooker, leave around 2 inches (5cm) of the gammon above the surface (approx. 750ml of juice).
Tip: Shake the apple juice carton before pouring.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the gammon until evenly covered, packing it into diamond cuts in the fat.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and orange zest to the juice around the joint.
Tip: Add some of the orange zest to the top of the gammon for extra flavour.
Step 4: Slow Cook
Place the lid on the slow cooker and switch it on.
Set the heat to HIGH and cook for 1 hour, then turn the heat down to LOW and leave to cook for around a further 8 - 9 hours.
Tip: Set a timer so you don't forget when your delicious gammon is ready.
Now's a good time to have a quick clean-up around the kitchen before you go and do something else. Your slow cooker can take it from here, it's got this!
Step 5: Marmalade Glaze
Once your gammon joint has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and place in an oven-proof dish lined with aluminium foil.
Pre-heat your oven to around 200°C (400°F).
Place a small pan on the hob and slowly heat the fine cut marmalade until it turns to liquid, then pour over the top of the joint.
Place in the oven and roast for around 20-30 minutes (or until the fat has turned crisp).
Tip: Baste in the marmalade juices a couple of times during cooking.
When done remove from the oven, discard the foil and any left over juices then leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
Now the wait is finally over you can enjoy your marmalade glazed gammon joint whichever way you like.
Try it served with a fresh salad, or in some fluffy bread to make a delicious sandwich (I'd recommend some Colman's English Mustard to accompany it) or my personal favourite, with freshly made chips (that's fries to the non-Brits) a fried egg and some fresh pineapple. A drizzle of Heinz tomato ketchup won't do any harm either, enjoy!
Thanks for reading.