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How to roast gammon

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to roast gammon

Roast gammon is a dish traditionally served up at Christmas time for Boxing Day dinner – the richly succulent and saline meat can be served hot or cold and is treasured by most carnivores. But there is no reason why roast gammon should not be enjoyed all year round; it is as well suited to a summery roast dinner - alongside seasonal ingredients like peas, asparagus or even fennel, as it is to a cockle-warming winter dinner.

Scoring the skin before roasting is a must to help render down the fat and ensure mouth-wateringly crisp skin. For ease of serving, try and choose a gammon joint which has no bone and is already rolled by a butcher.





Soak the gammon in water for 24 hours to remove any excess salt from the joint. Drain and rinse again with clean water (soaking may not be necessary depending on how the gammon has been cured)
Place the gammon and stock vegetables in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the pan to a boil, then simmer for 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the joint (allow 20 minutes per 450g plus an extra 30 minutes) - it should reach an internal temperature of 68°C
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Remove the gammon from the saucepan (you can reserve the liquid to make a stock) and score the skin and fat. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze and spoon over the skin
Lay a trivet of vegetables on the base of a roasting tin and top with the gammon
Cook in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, glazing the gammon every 15 minutes or so
Remove the gammon from the oven and leave to rest before carving


For a quicker option, after soaking the gammon (step 1) try wrapping the joint in a silver foil parcel and roasting for 20 minutes in an oven set to 170°C/gas mark 3, then finish by glazing in a marinade and crisping up in the oven for 30 minutes at 220°C/ gas mark 7. If choosing this option, make sure the joint has a good amount of fat, as this will help to keep the gammon moist as it cooks.

Dominic Chapman uses a traditional method to bake his gammon. By coating the meat in a bran paste before cooking long and slow, the meat is permeated with a pleasant nuttiness and is kept moist by the protective bran coating.


The most common flavours matched to roast gammon are honey and cloves, complementing the rich, salty quality of the meat. Why not branch out a little when next serving roast gammon - James Mackenzie pairs gammon with scrumpy cider and Emily Watkins serves her gammon lardons with a pea salad, as well as a twist on the traditional egg.

In terms of marinades and glazes, Josh Eggleton recommends using a honey, mustard and clove mix to coat the gammon before it is roasted - mustard and cloves adds piquancy while honey gives the meat a slightly sticky and sweet finish. This is also the case with marmalade or maple syrup - both great ingredients to smear onto gammon prior to roasting.

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