Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Garlic Roasted Smoked Gammon with Spicy Potato Salad
Smoked gammon is a delicious piece of meat, gammon being similar to ham but butchered in a slightly different way from the pig's hind leg. Although it is quicker to cook a piece of smoked gammon like this by boiling it, the roasting process imparts a far greater level of flavour. In order to spice it up just a little bit, I included a couple of whole garlic cloves in with the gammon as it cooked. I also resisted the temptation to add some apple sauce or similar to the served gammon as although it may make for better presentation, I feel it slightly diminishes (in this particular instance) the delicate smoky and garlic tastes of the meat.
The quantities used here will serve two people - with the likelihood of enough gammon being left over for a sandwich later...
1 1/2 lb piece of rolled smoked gammon joint
2 large cloves of garlic (whole and unpeeled)
1 large baking potato
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 medium carrot
1 small green chilli pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro
Sea salt and white pepper
3oz Double Gloucester cheese with chive and onion
It is necessary to start the potato salad first, as the potatoes have to be cooked and cooled before being added to the mayo. Peel the potato and chop it in to about six or eight bits. (Don't be tempted to chop it smaller to allow it to cook more quickly. If you chop potato too small before boiling it, what happens is that the potato becomes entirely water saturated and mushy, fit only for disposal - this applies equally when making mash.) Add the potato to a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about twenty-five minutes until softened. Drain, return to the empty pot, cover and leave to cool.
While the potatoes are simmering away, you can get your smoked gammon prepared and in to the oven. Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C. Be very careful to ensure that you unwrap your gammon completely if it has come prepacked as this piece did. There are sometimes two or even three different layers/types of wrapping. In this instance, the cooking time was also detailed on the wrapping. If you buy a piece devoid of cooking time guidelines, ask your butcher or grocery assistant for help if it is required.
Spread a large piece of tinfoil on a roasting tray. Lightly oil the centre with vegetable oil. If you don't do this, you will find the gammon will stick to the foil and it is a messy, irritating job pulling the tearing foil free. Sit the smoked gammon on the foil, skin and fat side uppermost. Lay a garlic clove on either side. The reason why the garlic cloves are unpeeled is to limit the risk of them burning and turning bitter during cooking.
Wrap the foil that you have a sealed but loose tent. Put the tray in to the oven. The total roasting time for this piece of gammon was one and a half hours, so it can be left unattended until twenty minutes before it is due to be ready.
When your potatoes have cooled, chop them to about a half inch dice. Put the mayo in a large bowl, add the potatoes and season with salt and white pepper. Stir very carefully with a wooden spoon, so as not to break the potato. You may find it easier to use a folding technique, much like folding flour in to wet ingredients when baking. This is much less likely to cause the potatoes to break.
Peel the carrot and julienne it. (Slice and chop in to thin strips). Chop the strips to around one inch strips. Remove the seeds and membrane from the chilli and finely chop. Add both to the potato and mayo combination and fold to mix. Chop the coriander and stir it through the potato salad in the same way. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until required.
Twenty minutes before the smoked gammon is due to be ready, take it out of the oven and very carefully open the foil to expose the meat. This allows some colour and texture to be added to the skin. Return to the oven.
Check the gammon is fully cooked when you remove it from the oven by ensuring all juices run clear. Transfer to a plate and cover to relax for at least fifteen minutes before carving. Plate with your spicy potato salad and three thin slices of the delicious Double Gloucester cheese.