Cooking "gammon" using Gordon Ramsay's recipe?

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Joined Dec 25, 2010
I'm not a professional chef by any means, but I know my way around the kitchen.   This year after watching Gordon Ramsays holiday special with all the recipes I decided to attempt cooking a fresh ham (gammon) for Christmas dinner.   Afterall, fresh Turkey is always better than a frozen one at Thanksgiving.  I thought this would be healthy for the family and hopefully very tasty!

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/168623/gordons-honey-glazed-ham

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/510259/gordon-ramsay-s-honey-glazed-ham

A trip to the butcher who seemed confused what I wanted (since I guess gammon is a UK term for ham).   I ended up with a 15 pound hunk of meat, raw, in netting.  It looked like a pork leg with the bone removed.  Seemed right.

I went home and cooked the meat according to the receipe.   Everything was exactly right except I had to use ground coriander seeds due to availability issues at our local grocery store.

After simmering for hours, I removed the ham from the pot.   To my surprise it really didn't look anything like ham.  It looked like a regular pork roast one would make for New Years with Sauerkraut.   It was white/gray and tasted just like pulled pork, NOT anything like ham.   I decided to not waste my time and effort on the glazing step and figured to save it for New Years at this point.

So I am left very confused.  Did I end up with the wrong cut of meat or did I do something wrong?  

After searching hours on the net for answers, the best I could find was that ham is 'cured' to get that flavor and pink color.

http://schmidling.com/ham.htm

Looking at that same recipe on several sites, none state that the gammon should be cured nor do the instructions include any curing or brine process prior to cooking.   The TV episode & website picture shows a nice juicy pink looking ham which is nothing like the gray looking blob I ended up with!

I am very thankful that I decided to cook this early on Christmas Eve.  It was to be for Christmas dinner, but I was fortunate enough to know something was not right.  I made it to the store in time to get a regular boring pre-cooked, chemical-processed ham to have again this year.  A hard lessson, over $40 wasted and lots of time for nothing.

I would really like to know if I did something wrong.  Everthing seems to point to it should have been cured (which is not mentioned in the recipe!)

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

John
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
Newcook....welcome to Cheftalk. Gammon is an English term that's taken from the Old Northern French word gambe which means "leg." Gammon refers to the upper leg portion of the pig's hind leg that's cured but not cooked and may or may not be smoked.

In the USA it would be called a ham but in England it must be cooked in order to be called that.
 
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Joined Dec 25, 2010
Thanks ChefRoss!

Is it supposed to turn out that color and taste like a pork roast?   I believe that the cut of meat was from the right part, as the butcher was told what it was for.  He may have goofed, I donno.   From what I read ANY pork can be "ham" as long as its cured.   I'm thinking that the recipe left out that important part.  Use cured gammon?  
 
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Joined Feb 4, 2016
Not sure if this thread is dead, but the reason your ham came out gray and like pulled pork is because you did not wet cure the pork in advance. A brine of water and Insta cure #1 (plus seasonings if desired) will help. Injecting the ham with the brine mixture will ensure a rose pink color when cooked.

Additionally if the pork is pulling apart, it was overcooked. You want to pull it out earlier to have the meat stick together and be sliceable.
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
Not sure if this thread is dead, but the reason your ham came out gray and like pulled pork is because you did not wet cure the pork in advance. A brine of water and Insta cure #1 (plus seasonings if desired) will help. Injecting the ham with the brine mixture will ensure a rose pink color when cooked.

Additionally if the pork is pulling apart, it was overcooked. You want to pull it out earlier to have the meat stick together and be sliceable.
The thread is 8 years old, I'd say it's dead.
 
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Joined Jan 15, 2017
Your ham needs to cured first, in a solution of salt, sugar and pink salt to give it that colour. The salt and sugar in the Cure gives it that texture when it is finished. You can find pink salt all over the place online. If you look at a proper publication about curing meat, you will probably find those are the only three ingredients, however there are all kinds of goodies that you can add to that, including brown sugar, pineapple juice, garlic, sage, maple syrup etc... I have played around with it more than a few times. My best result was when I injected the brine. You not only speed up the time it takes to cure it, but it also brines it much more evenly. You just have to try it a few times and get a good grip on how salty your brine is or isn't how to properly assess the curing time. I have had them turn out practically too salty to eat before, but still found plenty of good use for it as a flavor base in soups and stews. If you decide to try it, don't despair, it takes a few times to get it right, but that's what it's all about isn't it.
 

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