Cooking a Ham
|How to cook Ham||
Cuts of ham and bacon are widely available smoked or unsmoked. Gammon ham generally provides the best texture and flavor. The quality of the ham is improved if it is dry cured and/or from pork carefully reared and fed. Which ever type you choose these basic tips will help you prepare it.
A raw ham or piece of bacon is often soaked for between 12-24 hours in cold water. This is done to reduce the saltiness.
If your time is limited you can place the ham in a saucepan of cold water bring to the boil and discard the water. Replace with fresh water and bring back to the boil.
If you decide to bake your piece of ham without boiling then soaking is especially recommended.
Place the ham in a saucepan of cold water then bring to the simmer in fresh cold water and cook for 30 mins skimming the surface of scum occasionally; As stated above if the water is still very salty discard it and replace with fresh cold water bring to the boil and subtract 30 minutes from the cooking time.
Remove any skin from the cooked meat. The fat can be scored and breaded if finished plain. The bread crumbs can be mixed with parsley and mustard powder.
A classic finish is to allow to cool fully then coat with a chaudfroid sauce. This is a white sauce set with aspic which can be further decorated.
Baste regularly. Test by piercing to check it is tender or 170ºF/75ºC with thermometer.
Baked ham is sometimes studded with cloves to add flavor.
If you want to bake or braise then score the fat.
Finish with glaze and continue cooking for an additional 20 minutes a Kilo at gas 4/350F/175C.
Glazes for baked Ham:
apple juice with honey
soy sauce with brown sugar & sherry
Heat the glaze in a pan and brush or pour over the ham, baste frequently.