Chefs Note:
If you have got a family dinner or a party coming up, or you want to reinvent the Sunday roast, there is nothing outrageous about buying a ham and cooking it this way. You can feed loads of people and still have some left over for sarnies. There is something quite old English about this dish. It almost feels like something that would have been eaten at a royal banquet, it looks so sumptuous!

But forgetting the romantic notions, the reason this combination is so genius is because through careful poaching you will get juicy moist meat, by sprinkling the meat generously with black pepper you will get a wonderful heat, and by smearing the whole thing in marmalade you will get a beautiful tart sweetness.

It really does make the most wonderful roast dinner, and the leftovers can be sliced into a crusty baguette the next day with some hot mustard and a little rocket.

Ingredients:
  • 3-4kg/7-8 and-a-half lb middle cut gammon with the knuckle left on
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni (a piece of leek, celery, a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar best thin-rind marmalade
  • a handful of fresh rosemary, leaves picked


Cooking Method:
First of all you want to place the gammon in a large but snug-fitting pot. Cover it with water, then throw in your veg, bay leaves, peppercorns and bouquet garni. Peel the zest from the oranges and add to the water, then squeeze the juice in and add the salt.

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for an hour and a quarter with a lid on, skimming when need be. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for half an hour in the broth. This will allow the flavours to really penetrate the meat. Discard the vegetables from the broth, but keep the broth for making minestrone-type soups, it will freeze well for use another day.

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Carefully remove the meat to a board and, using a knife, take off the skin. Depending on the breed and quality of the pig, you should have a nice layer of fat. Remove some of the fat as well, to leave you with about 1cm/half inch. The extra fat can be kept in the freezer for roasting with potatoes another time. Score the fat left on the meat in a criss-cross fashion, and while it is moist, season it generously with the ground black pepper. Place the meat in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes until the fat renders and becomes slightly crispy.

Remove from the oven, stir up the marmalade to loosen, then smear and rub it all over the meat with the rosemary. Place back in the oven for about 1 hour and baste frequently until beautifully golden and crisp. Serve as you would a roast dinner or as part of a picnic.

Notes:
Jamie Oliver recipe tried and tested by myself