Written by Phil Brown. badger Bushcraft Monday, 07 March 2011 07:51
Gammon is one of my favourite pieces of meat and I have been looking at new methods of cooking it for a long time. So it was a pleasure to discover a new product that might help me achieve what could become a new glaze to add to an already favourite dish!
Finding HP Guinness sauce was too good an excuse not to have a play in the kitchen! I have always been a big fan of HP and it would be my choice of accompaniment to cheese on toast made with some exceptionally mature cheddar and homemade crusty bread. Having tried the sauce neat, by the spoonful, I had the notion to glaze a joint of gammon cooked in apple juice or cider with the tangy yet sweet HP Guinness sauce.
Now whilst this might not quite fit into the "Wild Food" section of the Badger Bushcraft Blog I thought it would be a nice addition at this stage. Perhaps we need to think about adding a "Just Cooking" or a "Campfire and Backwoods Cookery" section to the blog as the Badger Bushcraft Blog continues to develop?
I have always initially boiled gammon in water, discarded the water and then replaced this with the apple juice or cider, this time I thought it might be interesting to bring the gammon joint to the boil in the apple juice and then use the stock to make a soup with the left over roasted vegetables from this Sundays dinner.
Ingredients I used were:-
- 1 x 750g gammon joint
- 1 litre of apple juice
- 3 fresh bay leaves from the garden
- 2 shallots
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves of smoked garlic
- 1 small handful of whole black peppercorns
- 1 small hand full of whole cloves
- HP Guinness Sauce
- Soft dark brown sugar
I firstly brought the gammon to the boil in the apple juice, cider would work equally as well, and then added the shallots that were pierced with the whole cloves. To this I also added the bay leaves, whole cloves of smoked garlic and the black peppercorns.
I carefully boiled the gammon in the apple flavoured stock for 35 minutes skimming the froth from the surface every once in a while. The large onion I popped into the pan to boil for the last 10 minutes not really for any other purpose than to save some energy and for it to soften so I could add it to the soup I wanted to make with the remaining liquor.
With the boiled gammon placed fat side up on a roasting tray, the fat scored in the traditional diamond pattern and with a whole clove in every diamond it was time for basting. I mixed an exceptionally large “daffy” of the HP Guinness sauce with the strained apple juice liquor to a ratio of approximately 4 parts HP Guinness sauce to 1 part apple juice liquor finally mixing in enough soft dark brown sugar for the concoction to thicken.
I then covered the gammon joint with the experimental HP Guinness glaze into a preheated oven set to 200 degrees C for 40 minutes. Every once in a while I would baste the meat with the glaze ensuring an even coverage.
Suffice to say the “Badgered Gammon” is a great success! The meat was cooked to perfection and absorbed the subtle flavours of the apples and spices before the wonderful, sticky, tangy Guinness glaze worked its magic. I’m sure as the meat cools and sits for the night in the coolness of the fridge it will only get better.
I removed all the shallots and onion with a straining spoon from the remaining apple juice stock so I could take out the whole cloves and peppercorns before adding the remainder of the roast Sunday vegetables, which were excellent quality and purchased from friend and neighbour Helen Missing at The Pluckley Farm Shop which is open on a Sunday and just a short distance from our home in Kent. These included:-
- Sweet potato
- Smoked Garlic
This was then brought to the boil and simmered for twenty minutes before being blitzed through the blender and then being chilled for tomorrow’s lunch.
Why not try Guinness Badgered Gammon for yourselves and do let us know what you think of our recipe? I can't wait to try cooking this "backwoods style" - over a camp fire with the final roasting taking place in a Dutch oven covered with embers from the fire!
As a footnote I think it only right to mention that with ever increasing pressure on Mother Earth I feel that it is so very important not to waste anything wherever possible. The apple juice and left over vegetables have produced a stunning soup and effectively cost nothing to make! So some tasty food for free!
Further information about HP Sauces can be found on here on the Heinz website