How to braise gammon

How to braise gammon

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to braise gammon

Cut from the middle of the hind leg, gammon is a cut that benefits from long, steady cooking. Though of course it lends itself well to roasting, braising is arguably an even more dynamic way to cook the meat; the liquid in the pan stops the meat from drying out and depending on which liquor is used - adds plenty of flavour.


Soak the gammon in a pan of cold water for 24 hours (this may not be necessary depending on how the gammon was cured)
Remove the gammon and place in a large pan. Cover with fresh water then bring to the boil. Once it has reached boiling point, drain and refill with your chosen cooking liquid and aromatics
Bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook - around 30 minutes of cooking per 450g of meat should be fine. As the gammon cooks, skim away any scum and impurities which float to the surface and top up with more liquid if the gammon becomes exposed
Leave to cool in the liquid before serving - this will help the meat to retain its flavourful juices


If you want to keep the hob free, gammon can also be braised in the oven at 160°C/gas mark 3 for the same amount of time. After the gammon is braised, it can be coated with a glaze and placed in a 190°C/gas mark 5 oven to create sticky, sumptuous fat - scoring the fat is great for overall presentation and helps the glaze to reach down to the meat - a brilliantly indulgent option for any sunday lunch.

A diverse variety of liquids can be used to braise gammon, all imparting a subtle hint of flavour into the meat. Take note of James Mackenzie’s cider-braised gammon recipe, which plays upon gammon’s attraction to sweet, syrupy ingredients, and hints at its potential to be braised in ale, orange juice or even coca-cola. For further inspiration, look to ingredients like white wine, which will lend an air of sophistication to this rustic ingredient, used to great effect in Galton Blackiston's terrine recipe. To keep things simpler, braise in stock or even just water - perhaps with a few robust herbs and aromatics thrown in for good measure.

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