Thursday, 31 December 2009

Ham in Coca Cola

For the first time I cooked a nice piece of gammon on Christmas Eve to see us through the festive period. I wanted to do something a little more interesting than a "normal" ham so plumped for Nigella Lawson's recipe for Ham in Coca Cola. I've read so many reviews of it, people really rave about it so I thought it would be right up my street. In truth, it was I guess. However I failed to notice any real difference in the taste. Part of me feels it would have tasted the same if I had just boiled it in water but maybe I am missing something that some one might care to enlighten me with?

Either way, it was a success. Mr M loved it and I took some round to the 'rents on Boxing Day who also wolfed it down. You really can't beat a bit of fresh home cooked ham, which is why I shall turn this into a Christmas tradition, however next year I might try a different recipe.

Ham in Coca Cola


For the ham:
2kg mild-cure gammon
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 litre bottle of coke

For the glaze:
Handful cloves
1 heaped tbsp black treacle
2 tbsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp demerara sugar


Put the gammon in a pan, skin side down, add the onion and pour over the Coke. Bring to the boil and reduce to a good simmer. Put the lid on loosely and cook for around 2.5 hours. If your joint of gammon is larger or smaller work out the timing to suit - based on an hour a kilo. If your gammon has been kept in the fridge up until cooking you may need to add another 15 or so minutes on to the cooking time. Preheat the oven to 240c/gas mark 9.

When the ham is done, take it out of the pan and let it cool a little so it is easier to handle. You can also let it cool completely and finish it off later.

Remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make large diamond shapes and stud each diamond with a clove. Carefully spread the treacle over taking care not to dislodge the cloves. Gently pat the mustard and sugar onto the fat.

Cook, in a foil lined roasting tin for about 10 minutes or until the glaze is burnished and bubbly. If you have left the ham to cool completely you will need to cook the ham for about 30-40mins at 180c/gas mark 8.

I haven't mentioned soaking the ham as Nigella generally believes that most don't need soaking these days. You can if you want to, it's purely down to taste I think. I didn't soak my gammon and it was fine.

Smoothing the treacle over the ham whilst trying to keep the cloves in place was quite tricky. Treacle is not the most manageable of substances. Am now wondering if perhaps put the treacle on and then studding with cloves would work better. And on that note, make sure you get your cloves well before Christmas - those things were like gold-dust. I had to go to three supermarkets to find some, finally getting robbed blind at Waitrose for some Barts ones. Of course, I got home and found two more jars of cloves in the back of the cupboard. Note to self; no need to buy cloves in 2010.

Also, the coke MUST be four star, full fat Coke. Do not use Diet Coke as it just won't work as well due to the lack of sugar.

love & kisses
Mrs M x


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