Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Griddled Gammon Steak with Bell Peppers

Tucking in to a griddled gammon steak with bell peppers and fried egg

Gammon steaks are cured steaks from the hind leg of a pig. They are perhaps most often simply shallow fried but griddled gammon steak recipes tend to be more imaginative as well as more attractive on a plate. Griddling is also a healthier way of cooking than frying, with the food cooked more quickly to retain vitamins and nutrients and the ridges on the pan allowing fats and oils to run off without drying out the food. If you have never tried griddling, you can very often pick up a quality, bargain griddle pan on Amazon, Amazon UK or your local Amazon and discover for yourself this delicious and healthy way of cooking an ingredible variety of foods, including meats and vegetables.

Parboiled potato wedges ready for the fridge

Ingredients (Serves One)

  • 2 medium baking potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 1/4 each of red, green and yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
  • Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 gammon steak
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • White pepper
  • Chopped chives to garnish (optional)


Wash the potatoes and chop them in to wedges. Steep in cold water for about ten to fifteen minutes to rid them of the excess starch. Drain well and add to a pot of fresh cold water. Season with a little salt and bring the water to a simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until the skin is just starting to part from the flesh at the wedge edges. Drain well and add in a single layer to a plastic dish. Let them steam off for about five minutes or so before adding to the fridge for half an hour. When you put the potato wedges in the fridge, take the gammon steak and the egg out so that they may reach room temperature before being griddled/fried.

Frying mixed bell pepper slices

Add a little oil to a small, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a fairly high heat before adding the sliced mixed peppers. Season with a little salt and some black pepper plus the chilli powder if using it and fry (stirring frequently with a wooden spoon) for seven or eight minutes until the peppers are softened and starting to char.

After about half this time, get your griddle pan on to reach a very high heat and the oil heating in your deep fat fryer or deep frying pan.

Brushing gammon steak with oil for grilling

When you are cooking on a griddle pan like this, it is the food that should be oiled, rather than the pan. Use a pastry brush therefore to cover the gammon steak evenly on both sides with vegetable oil.

Starting to griddle gammon steak

Lay the gammon steak away from you in to the red hot griddle pan. The cooking time will vary depending upon the thickness of the steak, this averagely sized one taking about two minutes each side. In order to check doneness, you can look at the steak from the side, or lift a corner only with cooking tongs to see how it's colouring up underneath.

Deep frying potato wedges

The potato wedges should be added straight from the fridge to the hot oil and fried for about five minutes or until they are browned and crispy.

Gammon steak is griddled on both sides

Turn the gammon steak using cooking tongs.

Egg for frying is seasoned in a small bowl

Break the egg carefully in to a small bowl and season with a little salt and white pepper.

Griddled gammon steak

Lift the griddled gammon steak to a serving plate with your cooking tongs.

Fried peppers are laid on griddled gammon steak

Using tongs again, lift the peppers on to the top of the steak. Wipe the frying pan carefully clean with kitchen paper (leaving an oil residue) and carefully pour in the egg. Once the egg starts to set around the edges (after just about twenty seconds or so), reduce the heat to medium to low. Fry until the albumen is set all the way around the yolk then carefully turn the egg over to fry for about a minute on the second side.

Potato wedges are plated with gammon steak and peppers

Drain the potato wedges on a plate covered with kitchen paper and plate alongside the gammon steak.

Fried egg is laid on gammon steak and peppers

Lift the egg on to the peppers and garnish with the chopped chives, if desired.

Chopped chives garnish gammon steak, peppers and fried egg

Friday, 11 April 2014

Roast Chicken with Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing and Deep Fried Red Potatoes

Roast chicken, pork sage and onion stuffing, deep fried red potatoes and mixed veg

It is very rare for me to stuff a chicken that is going to be roasted, least of all buy one that has already been pre-stuffed. This is because I feel it can be an invitation to unevenly - and even worse, improperly - cooked chicken. I prefer to cook anything that is ultimately to be served with the chicken separately. On this occasion, however, I couldn't resist buying this bargain priced pork, sage and onion stuffed chicken and carefully giving it a go.


3 to 4lb pork, sage and onion stuffed chicken
Olive oil
6 (or as required) medium sized red potatoes (halved)
1/2 pound casseroling suitable mixed vegetables
1 pint fresh chicken stock
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish

Bargain pork, sage and onion stuffed chicken


This chicken had been reduced in price from £6.03 to £1.99, simply because it was about to reach its sell by date. That meant it had of course to be cooked on the day of purchase but that was already my intention. By the time I got it home from the supermarket, it had already reached room temperature so it was ready for final preparation and roasting. I started by getting my oven on to preheat to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Pork, sage and onion stuffed chicken ready to be roasted

I lightly oiled a roasting tray and cut away the trussing from the chicken. I then weighed the bird to calculate the precise cooking time. This is vitally important and you shouldn't just take the word of the label on the pack. The cooking time is calculated by allowing twenty minutes per pound and twenty minutes extra. (Remember that if you are stuffing the chicken yourself, you should weigh it after it has been stuffed as it is the gross weight which determines the cooking time). The chicken then went in to the preheated oven for the alloted period of time.

Red potatoes

Wash the potatoes and cut them in half but don't peel. Add them to a pot of salted cold water and bring the water to a simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes, just until you can see the skin starting to separate from the body of the potatoes and no more. Carefully drain and return to the empty pot. Allow to steam off for about five minutes before covering and leaving to cool completely.

Parboiled red potatoes are drained and left to steam

These vegetables were also on bargain sale at my supermarket, reduced in price from £1.47 to 25p, making this an all round very budget friendly meal! Do be sure that even when the pack states it is not required, you do wash them thoroughly in a colander under running cold water before use.

Mixed vegetables designed for casseroling

Although the vegetables were intended for slow oven cooking, I simply cooked them on the hob in a pot. Add the required amount of vegetables to a suitable pot and pour in the cold chicken stock, bring to a simmer for about half an hour or until done (cooking time will vary depending upon type of vegetables used).

Mixed vegetables are poached in fresh chicken stock

When the chicken is ready, take it from the oven and be sure to pierce the thickest part with a skewer to ensure all the juices run clear. Leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

Roast chicken with pork, sage and onion stuffing is rested

While the chicken is resting, you should deep fry your potatoes. This can be done in a deep fryer but I prefer to do it in a deep frying pan, allowing me to better monitor the potatoes as they cook. Make sure you bring the oil up to a high heat before carefully adding the cooled potato halves. They will take around five minutes.

Red potato halves are deep fried in hot oil

The chicken could be conventionally carved but I prefer to portion it. I start by slicing off the leg portions and the wings, followed by the two breast fillets.

Starting to portion roast chicken with pork, sage and onion stuffing

Lift the potatoes to a plate covered with kitchen paper with a deep frying spider or large metal slotted spoon to drain.

Deep fried red potatoes are drained on kitchen paper

Drain the vegetable through a colander. Plate up the meal componenets (not forgetting the stuffing!) and scatter with chopped paresley as a final garnish before serving.

Roast chicken with deep fried red potatoes and mixed poached vegetables