Now, this post is all about the art of cuisine. In the end, nations like the French or Italians, renowned for their artistic achievements, are also famous for their cuisine. This suggests a necessary link between food and art. Additionally, this year has been the first in my time in England when I could cook whatever I wanted and experiment without anything holding me back. As I was celebrating Christmas on my own, I therefore decided not to cook any traditional Christmas roasts, but to opt for something different. I cooked borsch, and then, practically on the spur of the moment, I decided to cook gammon in orange, ginger and honey (I was going to roast it at first). According to the original recipe, I needed to marinate gammon in lemon and garlic, but I didn’t have lemons at hand; I used an orange instead. And at a later stage of cooking I needed to add cognac; I used a mix of red wine and vodka. I also added a bit of red wine vinegar to the marinade. And although I am the only one to certify, I can assure you: this gammon is absolutely delicious!
What I used :
– a whole piece of unsmoked gammon (750 g)
– 6 garlic teeth
– 1 tea spoon of red wine vinegar
– 1 orange
– 2 red hot chilli peppers
– 2 table spoons of honey
– 2 table spoons of finely grated ginger
– 50 ml of red wine and 50 ml of vodka (or 100 ml of cognac)
– olive or other vegetable oil for frying (actually, I mixed olive and sesame seed oils)
How I cooked it:
1. I cut gammon in four pieces, put them in a hermeutic bowl, squeezed 1 orange, added finely cut 6 pieces of garlic, 1 tea spoon of vinegar, and put the covered bowl into a fridge for 45 mins, to marinate.
2. In the meantime, I grated ginger, cut 2 red chillies, and mixed them with 2 table spoons of honey and the red wine&vodka blend.
3. After 45 mins of marinating, I took gammon out and fried it in the mix of olive and sesame seed oils until gold.
4. Shortly before the gammon was ready, I heated up the sauce in a pan and added the hot blend to a frying pan with gammon.
5. I preheated the oven to 180C, covered the pan with foil, and put in the oven to cook for another 40 mins.
To accompany this gammon, I fried potatoes and carrots (cut in cubes). I also made a salad (1/2 of fresh cucumber, 4 gherkins, 1/2 can of sweetcorn, 3 reddishes, a few black olives, mixed together with mayonnaise), and there was apple sauce and some sweet pickle. But you can garnish the meat with mash or boiled vegetables, or just some green salad.
I hope you let me know if you tried this… Please do.
P.S. Ideally, you’d have a frying pan with the lid and a detached handle. But you can follow in my footsteps, or put gammon in a backing tray.
P.P.S. Speaking of Italians – my Italian friend in Manchester has finally fallen victim to my paeans to blogging, and started his own blog – Saffron Chicken and Unwritten Novels. So far it has only got one recipe to go with, but I heard Marco is going to share more with us. I’m sure this will be one of his New Year resolutions, especially now that you’ve heard of him. 🙂