This wonderful gammon with pasta recipe is testament to the versatility of gammon. If you are using leftover gammon for Shaun Hill's recipe, it takes only an hour to make, but it's worth making the gammon from scratch just for the fabulous piquancy imparted in the meat. All of the herbs are optional with this dish, so add as many or few as you like.
Shaun Hill is one of Britain's most enduringly successful chefs. He began his career in 1966, working for Robert Carrier in his Islington restaurant. He went on to work in some of London's most prestigious addresses including The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge and Blakes in South Kensington
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Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 2
For the initial stage of the cooking process, submerge the whole gammon in a large pot of cold water and place on a high heat
1 gammon, small, unsmoked
Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 30-45 minutes to remove some of the salt and impurities from the gammon. Remove from the heat and strain off the liquid, but reserve approximately 500ml to use for the leeks
Allow the gammon to cool slightly and then pat dry. Combine the cinnamon, pepper and sugar and mix thoroughly. Pat the spice mix onto the surface of gammon, ensuring as much of the exposed meat as possible is covered in the spice mix
1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp of black pepper
1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
Place into the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until a nice crust forms on the outside
10 minutes before the meat is ready, remove from the oven, drizzle with olive oil and brush with a thin layer of mustard. Return to the oven for the final 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Meanwhile, prepare the leeks. Remove the outer layer and any dark green from the top of the vegetable. Roughly chop into thumbnail-sized pieces and wash thoroughly in a colander, shaking off as much excess water as possible
2 leeks, large
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. As soon as it begins to foam, add the leeks and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat, add a pinch of salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally for another 15-20 minutes until the leeks are soft but not coloured
40g of butter
Add a small dash of the reserved gammon cooking liquid and stir through. Continue to cook until the leeks are very soft and tender and just starting to fall apart - adding a little more cooking liquid to ensure the leeks remain moist. Remove from the heat and set aside
Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Strain and stir through the leeks, mustard, crème fraîche and herbs of your choice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide evenly between the 4 serving dishes
400g of penne pasta
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
200g of crème fraîche
2 2/3 handfuls of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp of tarragon, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of basil, roughly torn
Slice the gammon thinly, place on top, or create two layers by placing the gammon in between 2 layers of pasta and then on top. Return to the oven to reheat if necessary and serve immediately
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