Tis the season to be jolly…traal la la la laaaa…la la la laaaa. Schools are closing, businesses are bustling about to finalize the last few “to do’s” before they close shop for the summer vacation. It is that special time of the year again where coastal towns are filling up – locals curse the holiday makers for taking their parking space, but yet good cheer, happiness and laughter is filling up all around us, we fall into that “holiday mode” as we approach Christmas.
I have such fond memories of our food adventures on Christmas day. The table spread of gammon, turkey, roast beef and chicken, the salads for every taste and not to forget that oh so special Christmas Trifle. My father would spend 2 days prior to Christmas cooking up a storm, leaving Christmas day for eating, family time and playing with our latest little treasures that old St Nick had left under the Christmas tree…
Gammon with a pineapple & green pepper salsa
1 can cherry cola
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 bottle Cherry Jam / Glaze (use the liquid from a bottle of Maraschino cherries if you can’t find jam)
+- 10 whole cloves
2 small onions, roughly chopped
1 green pepper. diced
1 pineapple, diced
½ punnet sage
1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated
½ cup vegetable stock
Place the gammon in a deep pot, pour in half of cola and fill up with water just until the gammon is covered. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for an hour. (Boil for 30 minutes for every 500g of meat weight)
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Place the onions, mustard and vegetable stock in a roasting tray.
Place the gammon on the onions, pour the remainder of the cola over the gammon, stud the skin of the gammon with the cloves, evenly distribute over the surface.
Brush generous amounts of glaze over the gammon and pop into the oven for a 45 minutes.
Every 10 – 15 minutes, brush another generous helping of glaze over the gammon.
For the last 10 minutes, turn your oven to grill, this will crisp up the gammon slightly and make the glaze extra sticky
Remove from oven and let rest before carving.
Remove the sauce, place in a pot and cook out for about 10 minutes. Blitz it up with a stick blender, thicken slightly with cornstarch and you have a perfect gravy to serve with your roast.
Add the green peppers, pineapple, sage and ginger in a bowl, season and use as a salsa over the gammon.
The great thing about Christmas meats is that you can serve hot or cold, and who doesn’t have stacks of Christmas leftovers?
Run on over to the local bakery and buy a loaf of fresh ciabatta, opening up an arrangement of sandwich ideas with your sliced gammon.
Season’s greetings with all good wishes for the new year.