1 March 2012

Gammon, pot roasted in Cola

I was having trouble, just then, working out whether to call this "Gammon, pot roasted in cola" or "Pot roast cola gammon" or even "Cola braised Gammon ham".  It's a tricky one.

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!
The joint I had was around 800g, so just a little fellow - but just enough for a Sunday dinner, with a little left over for sandwiches the next day.

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!
I had used the gorgeous Greenvale Farmfresh Jelly Potatoes for my roasties and can report that they are utterly perfect when used in this way.  I par-boiled them - at which they behave impeccably, not collapsing, or dissolving, or remaining bullet-like - and roasted them for the prescribed 45 minutes at 200degF.  The end result was a perfect, crispy, gently potato flavoured roastie, which we all agreed was one of the nicest roast potatoes we'd had in a very long time.

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!



  1. I made this on Sunday actually, except without the vegetables... and also I stupidly forgot to keep the gammon submerged so it went a bit dry and hard on the outside, oops!

    Lovely dish though. Next time I I make it I'm going to have to pay more attention to what I'm doing!

    1. To be honest, Brittany, I'd have had trouble keeping my gammon submerged, because it kept floating! LOL I just turned it over whenever I was passing.

  2. No matter what this is called, it is enticingly delicious! Yummy =)

    1. It looks as good as it tasted, Raquel!

  3. I wonder if this could be another one for the slow cooker? Oh, and I heartily recommend using window-cleaner to clean up stubborn goo around the cooker.

    1. I did debate using the slow cooker, Laura, but because it was a relatively small piece of gammon it didn't really seem worthwhile. Our slow cooker is such a monster, unless you're going to be at least filling it half way, it just isn't worth all the washing up! LOL

      Window cleaner, eh? Ingenious! I've got to be careful what I use on our cooker top, as it's one of those halogen types with the glassy top. You can't use anything that will scratch (which I expect most window cleaners wouldn't). We've got a special halogen hob cleaning liquid that brings it up to a lovely shine, but is expensive so I didn't want to use loads, so I wore down my fingernails instead. LOL

  4. looks very good to me! I need an excuse - sounds like a really nice Sunday lunch dish with rather special left overs. I wonder if cola would work with other meats (chicken or pork...)

    1. I'd be cautious about using it with chicken, as I think it needs that saltiness that the Gammon brings, to balance the flavours. Without that, I could imagine you'd wind up with everything too sweet. Although, having said that, if you introduced some chilli to the mix, that might work!


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