Either way, what it was trying to convey is that this blog post is all about a boneless smoked gammon joint, that was cooked in a saucepan of cola drink, celery, onion and carrots. You can make your own mind up as to what to call it. I call it yummy - but a terror to clean up afterwards!
I had been pondering over what to cook the bacon joint in - or whether to just pop it in the oven and roast it - for some time before hubby mentioned that we had a spare bottle of cola that I could use, if I wanted. Having already made a ham cooked in cola (albeit a much bigger one, the Christmas before last), I thought it would be interesting to see how it translated to a much smaller piece of meat.
|Has definitely succumbed to the "cola" effect!|
As is my habit, I soaked the gammon overnight to reduce its salt content. It smelled lovely when it went into its chilly bath (I just used water, as I was only interested in getting rid of the salt, rather than getting additional flavours into the meat) and I was quite hopeful of a good dinner the following day.
I roughly chopped up the two carrots, an onion and two sticks of celery and used them to create a trivet upon which to put the meat, as I've known the bottom of a piece of meat become quite scorched when cooked this way. In went the gammon and I poured the cola in until just covering the top of the meat, whilst still leaving a gap at the top of the saucepan. I didn't want it boiling over - not with cola involved in it, anyway!
I left the gammon chuckling away on a low simmer for approximately an hour and a half.
What I didn't think about though, was that as the pot simmered the steam gathered under the lid and ever so slightly lifted it. Enough for a splurt of cola/steam mix to decorate the top of my cooker, the buttons on the front of the cooker, the saucepan, the worktop to the side - and anything else that wanted to get in the way, with a sticky dark brown goo that was extremely hard to remove. Oh - and the goo that had managed to creep in between the saucepan and the hot plate and then burn, was virtually welded on. *sigh* I'll have to think of a better plan, if I'm going to do this again in future.
I had used a big jam cauldron for the Christmas piece that I cooked in this way, and it obviously didn't have the same effect between steam and lid, as this hadn't happened then.
|Served with roast potatoes & parsnips, creamed leeks, cabbage and carrots - delicious!|
Still, the end result was worth all the mopping up and cleaning. The ham emerged looking pleasingly dark and, when cut, demonstrated a lovely distinction between the cola-flavoured outside and the pink, succulent inside. Between the soaking and the cooking, the ham had wound up delightfully moist and very acceptably mild in flavour. There wasn't a very distinctive difference in flavour between the inner and outer, which is nice because you don't really want a strong cola influence in your roast dinner.
|Roasties close up - no dribbling, now!|
Next on the list for these potatoes is to try them in potato salad, after which I'm sure will come some mashed potato. I can't see son & heir letting me get away without mashing them, for very much longer!