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Posts Tagged ‘festive’

Anyone who knows me wont be surprised that my Christmas tree has been up for a week already. I haven’t always been this obsessed with Christmas. I think it started when I moved to Scotland because in South Africa its usually too hot to contemplate the effort required to wiggle your lilo over to the edge of the swimming pool for another drink, never mind trying to eat a tableful of turkey and all the trimmings.

I’m sure the novelty will eventually wear off but until it does I’ll spend every November and December getting slightly over excited about tree decorations, wrapping presents and most importantly, delicious food with a festive theme. I am making Christmas lunch this year for the family and for the first time so I’m a little more maniacal than usual, trying out different elements before the day to make sure they work (so far there don’t seem to be any complaints from Ross who is ‘forced’ to eat them all).

To celebrate the start of Christmas in our house I cooked this chilli glazed gammon with braised red cabbage and crunchy roast potatoes and it turned out to be a recipe worth sharing. Since you probably arent as over eager as I am in the tree department you can still probably use it to celebrate the occasion as well if the flavours appeal to your taste buds. Otherwise its a nice twist on the classic Christmas gammon if you havent chosen your menu yet.

The chilli is chilli jam rather than fresh chilli and it gives a lovely sweet hot flavour to the glaze and a bit of kick to the red cabbage without clashing or overpowering. You could make any veg you feel like to go with it but the cabbage goes perfectly and is suitably festive in colour and the crunch of the roast potatoes balances the other softer textures. Hope you like it.

P.s. I am planning to make another gammon this week because I’ve gone a bit gammon crazy at the moment so if you have any different ideas for a glaze or side dishes please let me know!

Chilli Glazed Gammon

Serves 4.

  • 900g unsmoked gammon
  • 2-3 strips of orange skin
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick (you can re-use this for the cabbage as well)
  • 1 onion halved (I used 2 shallots instead because I had some left over)
  • 1 bay leaf

Glaze

  • 2 tbsp chilli jam
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp english mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 20 cloves (or enough to stud the gammon)

Put the gammon into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, drain and rinse under the tap (this is to remove the saltiness, alternatively you can soak overnight but this is much quicker).

Put the gammon back in the saucepan and cover with cold water again. Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. If your gammon is smaller or bigger, calculate the cooking time as 20 min per 450g plus 20 min and half this for the boiling time. When ready, drain the ham and cool enough to handle. You can keep the stock for making soup instead of throwing it away.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the gammon in a roasting pan lined with foil, slice off the top layer of fat, score with a knife in a diamond pattern and stud with cloves. Put the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until you have a sticky glaze that is thick enough not to slide straight off into the pan. Drizzle this over the gammon, covering the fat and place in the oven for 30 min (or the other half of your cooking time) to crisp up the fat and heat through.  If you have cooked a larger gammon and/or let it cool completely then you may need to start on a lower heat and cook for longer. Just turn up the oven for the last 30 min if you do to crisp the fat.

Festive Braised Red Cabbage

  • 1 red cabbage, core removed and shredded
  • 75g butter
  • 275 ml red wine or 200ml chicken stock
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 2 tbsp cherry jam
  • 3 tbsp chilli jam
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the cabbage and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the red wine or stock, bring to the boil and then simmer until the liquid has reduced slightly. Add the other ingredients, bring back to a simmer, cover and cook for 40-50min until tender.

Remove the lid and cook for 5-10 min over a high heat until the liquid has evapourated.

 

Crispy Roast Potatoes

  • 5 roasting potatoes
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp semolina

Preheat the ovewn to 250°C. Pour about 1 cm of vegetable oil into a roasting pan and place it in the oven to heat up for at least 10 min. In the meantime, par boil the potatoes for 5 min, drain and bash around in the pan to break up the edges. Sprinkle over the semolina, toss to coat and place carefully into the roasting pan. Turn to coat with oil and place in the oven for 40-50 min, turning over half way through. When ready, remove from the oven onto kitchen towel to absorb the oil and then serve. Keep in the oven until you are ready to serve to keep them crispy.

If you are making these dishes together then carry out the steps in this order:

  • prepare the gammon and then boil it with the infusing ingredients
  • prepare it for the oven and set aside
  • prepare the cabbage and put it on to simmer for 45 min (pre heat the oven for the potatoes)
  • par boil the potatoes and put them in the oven for 50min
  • with 30min to go, turn the oven down to 220°C and put the gammon in
  • if you turn down the heat on the cabbage after 40min it will bubble away fine for another 10 min if the gammon and potatoes are still in the ovwn and you will just have less juices to cook off at the end
  • Finally cook off the cabbage juices while you get the gammon out of the oven
  • Let the gammon rest for 5-10 min while you are getting the potatoes out and then carve into slices and serve everything

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