How to Cook Gammon: 3 Simple MethodsMay 30, 2023
It may be seen as a traditionally seasonal classic, but knowing how to cook the perfect gammon joint won’t just come in handy at Christmas. People enjoy gammon all year round and it’s certainly a popular dish at many summer dinner parties. Delight your family and impress friends by serving the most succulent gammon joint when you’re next hosting guests. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking a gammon joint to perfection.
What is gammon?
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish the difference between ham and gammon. To put it simply, gammon becomes ham once it’s cooked. Both gammon and ham are cuts of meat from a pig’s hind legs.
The difference is that gammon is sold raw and has been cured (typically using brine, salt or smoke), whereas ham has already been cooked and is ready to eat.
Effortlessly versatile, you can eat cooked gammon (ham) both freshly cooked, as well as cold. In fact, a leftover cold cut is a real treat in the days after you’ve cooked a gammon joint, paired with a parsley sauce, chutney or pineapple salsa, or even mixed into a summer salad. Read on for more delicious ideas on what to serve with your cooked gammon.
How to cook a gammon joint
There are three common ways to cook a gammon joint; boiling, roasting and baking.
Remember to weigh your joint first as this will impact the cooking times (see below for more detail on cooking time for gammon).
Here are three ways to cook the perfect gammon joint:
1. How to boil a gammon joint
Boiling is the simplest way to cook your gammon joint.
- Place gammon in a large pan and immerse in cold water. Optional: Add flavouring at this stage, e.g. bay leaves, black peppercorns and/or cinnamon.
The grind of black pepper in this HelloFresh gammon steak recipe really helps to bring out the flavour of the meat, and get your taste buds tingling.
- Bring water to the boil. Once water has boiled, reduce heat and simmer. Calculate the cooking time by the weight of your gammon (20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes), or until thoroughly cooked.
2. How to roast a gammon joint
Cooking gammon in the oven is another easy option.
Roasting gives an attractive glaze to the top of your cooked gammon joint and is certain to impress your guests.
- Place gammon in a pan and immerse in cold water.
- Boil for 10 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 10 minutes, then carefully remove the joint from the pan, drain and wrap well in tin foil.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 10 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.
For a glazed finish, cook your gammon as above, then remove the meat from the oven 30 minutes in. Remove any rind from the gammon and score the fat, then top with your glaze of choice.
Some gammon glaze examples include:
- Sweet gammon glaze: 5 tbsp clear honey topped with muscovado sugar.
- Mustard gammon glaze: English mustard, spread over the surface and topped with muscovado sugar.
- Citrus gammon glaze: Warm 1/2 jar marmalade, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 75ml orange juice and 1 tbsp grated ginger. Once marmalade has melted, the glaze is ready to be added.
- Christmas gammon glaze: Apricot, brown sugar, mustard and a splash of brandy.
Once glaze has been brushed over the top of the joint, return to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.
3. How to cook gammon joints in a slow cooker
Another hassle-free method of cooking a gammon joint is in a slow cooker. The benefits of cooking in a slow cooker include using less electricity and making meat more tender and flavoursome.
- Place gammon joint in your slow cooker, adding halved onions, chopped carrots and bay leaves.
- Pour in liquids (you can use apple juice, ginger ale, cola or just water), cover and cook for 4-6 hours on a high setting or 6-8 hours on a lower setting.
- Remove the ham from the slow cooker and allow it to cool. The braising liquids can be saved to use in soups and stews, or even to flavour grains.
If you want to make the cooking process easier, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. If the core temperature (where the ham is thickest) is 60°C for 45 minutes, 65°C for 10 minutes, 70°C for two minutes, 75°C for 30 seconds and 80°C for six seconds, then it has reached its perfect temperature.
HelloFresh’s Recipe Development Manager, Mimi Morley, suggests scoring the ham as part of the preparation for the most delicious results. It also helps absorb any extra flavouring, which is particularly useful at Christmas time.
To score your ham, use a sharp knife and trim the skin from the top of the ham, leaving the white fat covering underneath. Lightly score the fat into a diamond pattern, with each incision reaching about 1.5cm in length. Mimi’s top tip: Slice almost through the fat, but not into the meat. Scoring the ham allows any glaze to penetrate. Transfer the ham, fat-side up, into the roasting tray. Push whole cloves into the middle of each diamond for a festive look and taste.
Gammon and ham recipes
Because it’s so versatile, you can serve gammon with many different accompaniments, switching it up seasonally. Delicious, simple side dishes for gammon include:
- Spring onion mash
- Roast asparagus or roast tenderstem broccoli
- Honey glazed parsnips or carrots
- Creamy parsley sauce
- Mac and cheese
- Potato salad
- Rice pilaf
- Green salad
- Pea soup
- Garlic-roasted Brussels sprouts
Take a look here for some tasty recipes from HelloFresh, including a variety of honey mustard steaks:
- Honey Mustard Gammon Steaks with Parsley Sauce
- Pan-Fried Gammon with Sweet Potato Wedges and Pineapple Salsa
- Honey Mustard Gammon with Mashed Potato, Roasted Carrot and Creamy Parsley Sauce
- Mustardy Gammon Steaks with Roasties and Lentils
All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.