Sunday, September 01, 2013

Slow-cooked Ham

A cheap gammon or ham joint cooks nicely in the slow cooker, and cooking one in this way is a good way to prepare cold meat in bulk for a large buffet.

In the bottom of the cooker goes a sliced onion and some whole spices. I generally use this mixture which is similar to Chinese five spice:
  • a cinnamon stick, broken into a few bits.
  • 5 cloves.
  • a couple of strands of mace.
  • a couple of star anise, broken into bits.
  • a couple of black cardamon, crushed.
  • a couple of dried chillies.
Note that you cannot substitute white/green cardamon for black cardamon as they are very different spices. White/green cardamon has a sort of slightly lemony scent to it, whilst black cardamon has a deep smokiness.

Then in goes the ham. Top it with a spoonful of honey, season with black pepper, and pour over a glass of sherry to provide the cooking liquid.

Pop on the lid. Turn on the slow-cooker to high for the first hour, and then down to low. Leave to cook overnight.

In the morning, turn off the cooker and let the ham cool in the juices to near room temperature. Pop it out onto a plate and chill before slicing and serving.