How to... Cook a Gammon

Cooking your gammon - or making ham from scratch (almost)

A gammon has been cured, but still needs to be cooked (unlike a ham which is the ready article - ham can still be dressed up - see our Ham Glazing Guide) and can be served hot, or cooked and cooled for ham.

These carefully chosen legs of pork come from the same free range pigs sold in our shop counters. We wet cure our gammons to ensure that the cure (a homemade mixture of brown sugar and curing salts) reaches the centre of the meat. The gammons are brined for a week, transferred to fresh cure for a further 4-6 days, before being dried for a number of weeks. A number of our gammons are selected for cold smoking. 

Whether you choose a plain or smoked gammon is entirely personal preference. There's more than one way to cook a gammon, how you do it is up to you and perhaps the cookware you have at home. Choose the first method if you want a very simple gammon where the pork and cure speak for themselves. Choose the second method if you want to add your own twist. If you choose our second method to cook your smoked gammon, you may need to consider flavour balance when choosing additional spices or your cooking liquid. 

Simple baked gammon

1. Soak the gammon in cold water for 1 to 1 and a half hours. This will get rid of any excess salt from the curing process. 
2. Pour one inch of boiling water into a baking tin.
3. Place the gammon on a rack in the tin, making sure the water doesn’t touch the meat. Loosely cover the gammon with foil but ensure the foil is airtight. Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes per kilo.
4. Remove from the oven and rest. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin (but not the fat). Your gammon is now officially a ham.
5. At this point you could just serve warm thick slices with some mash and gravy, a fried egg and some Ginger Pig ketchup, or leave the ham to cool completely and then slice for ham sandwiches. Alternatively you may want to consider glazing your ham... (see a bit further down the page.) Make sure to get some Ginger Pig Piccalilli or one of our chutneys for those sandwiches and ploughman's.

Once cooked, your ham can keep up to 7 days wrapped in foil in the fridge. Use your best judgement. 

Cider Baked gammon

The resulting ham has notes of apple compote and a very satisfying sticky finish to the outside of the ham.

1. Soak the gammon in cold water for 1 to 1 and a half hours. This will get rid of any excess salt from the curing process. 

2. Preheat your oven to 120°C - 130°C and place the gammon in a deep roasting tin or a cast iron enameled casserole with a tight fitting lid.

3. Take two red onions, slice off the top and the tail and remove the outer skin. Poke 3 cloves into each onion. Tuck these next to the ham along with 3 bay leaves and 5 whole allspice berries. (You can always play around with the spices too!)

4. Find a nice dry cider - you'll need at least 500 ml to be on the safe side. (You could swap out the cider for water or experiment with white wine like a Riesling.) Heat up your cider in a saucepan until the surface is properly simmering. Pour the hot cider about half way up the sides of the gammon. Pop on the lid of your casserole or if using a roasting tin, make a loose tent of foil around the gammon, clamping the foil around the sides of the tin, it should be relatively air-tight.

5. Bake in a preheated oven for 4 to 4 and a half hours.

6. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes or cool down completely and enjoy sliced, in a sandwich. If you can hold yourself back, the baked ham should be happy wrapped in the fridge for up to a week.

Top Tip! Use some of the cooking liquor of your cider baked ham to make a delicious gravy, simply thicken with cornflour, to serve with your warm ham and some mash. Use any leftover cooking liquor instead of stock to make a pea soup from out of this world. 

Glazing your ham

We suggest you do this in a roasting dish or tray lined with baking parchment for easy clean up!

1. Once the skin has been removed, criss-cross the fat in a diamond pattern, cover generously with honey mixed with mustard, your favourite marmalade mixed with a little orange juice or our recipe for ham glaze, and place in a hot oven (220°C) for 20 minutes to glaze.

2. If the glaze has not caramelised after 20 minutes, return to the oven with another layer of glaze on for 5-10 minutes. Be careful to keep an eye on the ham to make sure the glaze doesn’t burn.

3. Remove the ham from the oven and place on a dish ready to serve.