Things I have been cooking lately #29: Ham boiled in Coke

This is my go-to “big meat” recipe. Although it’s traditionally a Christmas dish, I recently made it for Easter with my family. I know most people’s immediate response to this recipe is, “Coke, really?” But trust me, it is deeeee-licious!

Ham boiled in Coke

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

2kg mild cure gammon

2 litres of full fat Coke (no diet here)

1 large onion, peeled and cut in half

3 bay leaves

A handful of cloves

A few tablespoons of black treacle

A few teaspoons of mustard powder

A few teaspoons of soft dark brown sugar

These days most gammons have been pre-soaked to get the excess salt out. Check the label though and if your gammon has not been soaked, pop it in a large pot, cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once you have a de-salted gammon, pop it in a large lidded pot, skin side down, and pour in the Coke. Add the onion and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently with the lid at an angle for two hours. If your ham is bigger than 2kg, boil an extra 30 minutes for every half a kilo. If you ham is not completely covered by the Coke, make sure to turn it a couple of times during the cooking process.

When the boiling process is done, heat your oven to 220 C (200 for a fan oven). Drain your ham and using a sharp knife carefully remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Put the gammon, fat side up into a foil lined roasting tray. Using your sharp knife, score the fat in a crisscross pattern. At every point where the cross meets, push in a clove. Once you have all your cloves in, spread a layer of treacle over the top of them, being careful not to dislodge any cloves. Sprinkle over a thin layer of mustard powder and then pack on a layer of sugar.

Put the ham into the oven for 10 minutes until the glaze is bubbling. Serve hot or cold.

You can do the boiling process in advance if you like and then glaze at a later stage, but if you have allowed the ham to cool down you will need to put it in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes to heat through.

Serves 8 – 10

Ham

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