Some dishes, to me, are so typically English and bring back memories of food from my past. Gammon is cured (usually wet cured in a salt brine) pork, from the leg. It can be bought smoked, as an entire joint or as steaks. It just can´t be bought in Spain, so I will have to work on a way to make my own.
Meanwhile, I picked up a few small joints of gammon on a pre Christmas shopping trip to the strange place that is Gibraltar. A couple of hours´ drive from Malaga, it is a British Overseas Territory on the southern Iberian Peninsula. I have to confess it´s not my favourite place as it seems to contain all that is bad about Britain packed into a very small area…but I don´t wish to offend and I am sure there is much more to it than I have ever seen on two brief shopping trips.
A trip to Gib, as it´s known to the Brits, allows us ex pats to stock up on things (particularly food) that we miss and either can´t get hold of or can´t be transported over easily by our visitors. So, amongst many other food goodies, gammon it was. I thought that Big Man would enjoy it as he loves pork and ham, but I knew it would be a new and interesting taste for him.
Gammon can be roasted or boiled and served hot or cold. I decided to do a hot dish, boiled gammon with parsley sauce, which is a typical dish of comfort food from my homeland.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- One small brined gammon (about 750g)
- About 6 carrots peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 2 medium onions peeled and halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- Water to cover
- 6-8 medium potatoes boiled in their skins and peeled and halved to serve
For the parsely sauce you will need half a litre of home made béchamel sauce (infuse the parsley stalks in your milk before making it) and two tablespoons of parsley stirred in at the end. For extra flavour, use half milk and half stock (from boiling your gammon).
Simply put the gammon, onion, carrots, bay leaves and cloves into a deep saucepan and cover with water. Don´t use salt – it will be fairly salty from the brine. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum that rises to the surface, cover and simmer gently for about an hour until the gammon is tender.
When the gammon is cooked, leave it to sit in the hot stock while you cook your potatoes and make the parsley sauce. I used one cup each of milk and stock (which should both be cooled) , 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 1 tablespoon of oil and whisked everything together over a low heat until it started to boil and thicken. This is my cheat´s way of making white sauce. Finally I stirred in my chopped parsley and let it sit for a few minutes.
Remove the gammon from the stock and slice or chop (it will not slice easily when it´s warm, but I don´t mind chunks!). I put some runner beans into the stock with the carrots and onions, bought them up to the boil and then strained the vegetables, reserving the stock for soup. Serve with the boiled, peeled potatoes and vegetables and enjoy the lovely steamy smells of gammon and parsley that will float up and fill you with a sense of comfort.
60 thoughts on “Boiled Gammon and Parsley Sauce”
Everything looks so good; veg, gammon and sauce!
Thank you – it was nice to eat something “different” (for here at least) for a change!
The first time I saw Gammon on a menu in London I thought it was a reference to Dr. Seuss’ stories. I’m not sure why, but I had never heard the word before. That said, it didn’t take me long to love it.
Hee hee! Now you know what it is…glad you like it now 🙂
Such a wonderful comforting meal, which I could enjoy all year around! Must call my mom to ask why she never made us the parsley sauce growing up – feel like I have missed out!
You had a deprived childhood Mandy…your cruel mother! 😉
Another new one on me…the parsley sauce sounds wonderful, and I’m a sucker for cured pork of any kind!
To you suppose Gammon began as a mis-pronounciation of Jamon? (Sorry, no accent mark, but you know what I mean… 😉 )
That should be “DO you suppose…”
Good point about the jamon/gammon thing…it sounds very plausible to me! Gammon is so good and as soon as I´ve worked out how to make my own, I´ll be sharing it with you all 🙂
I don’t know this kind of ham. At least I *guess* it is a sort of ham… looks yummy in any event! Of course, I have yet to meet any part of the pig I didn’t like to eat… 😉 Mmmm!!
You´re right, it is indeed a sort of ham and I´m really hoping I can work out how to make my own.
I love gammon (and the fact that the stock continues into a fabulous soup base) but I always like pease pudding with mine. My husband thinks that it’s horrible – but I love it hot and cold! Can’t say I remember having it with parsley sauce though. Must try it.
Ooh how lovely with pease pudding! Maybe the parsley sauce was just something we did in my family…
A good point, Tanya. My mother always made parsely sauce with boiled ham, corned beef – basically anything salted.
It was funny as when I made the recipe, it didn´t seem unusual to me…I know my grandmother would have taught my mum and then me. Mind you…this could have come from some old family recipe way, way back in the late 1700s!
I’ve never had gammon, never mind the parsley sauce. I would love this as I love anything brined… and they do the brining for you:) what could be better! I’m sure your husband loved this, such a perfect comfort food:) xo Smidge
It was a huge hit, and luckily I bought two, so (as the weather is colder now) I think we´ll be having this again soon!
This looks wonderful. Wonder if I can find it here….
Not sure – is brined meat something eaten round your way…I am determined to learn how to make the “raw” product myself!
Sounds delicious – I wish my mother had been able to cook like this – I’m sure she was Nigel Slater’s mum’s twin sister.
There’s a section on curing ham in Jocasta Innes’ The Country Kitchen” 😉
Am still laughing at this – lots of toast then eh?! I knew that if anyone could point me in the right direction about curing the pork, it would be you! Thank you so much…will have to look into this. Reminds me that I might also find something in The River Cottage Yearbook…
This sounds delicious, Tanya, and your parsley sauce is something I’ve got to try. Your photo of the prepared plate is so tantalizing and you served it atop a red checkered table cloth. Perfect!
Thank you! The red checkered tablecloth is a big favourite – it even comes on picnics with us 🙂
Actually never had this cut of meat before, but it sounds and looks delicious! I think I could eat that entire plate right now…
I don´t think you can get it everywhere but it´s super tasty!
So interesting Tanya. I’ve not heard of Gammon before but reading along with your directions, it sounds like it will be so tender and tasty. The parsley sauce also seems to pare with it really nicely. Lovely dinner!
I think the brining (would that be like salt beef?) makes it moist and juicy. And the sauce is yummy!
I’m also not sure if I can get Gammon here, but I do like the sound of that yummy parsley sauce (a version I’ve not tried) with ham and veggies…wonderful!
It´s such a simple little sauce, but it tastes so good…and of course it´s easy to make!
Perfect timing for this recipe, Tanya. I visited our local pork shop this morning and came home with all sorts of goodies. They are a boutique butchers shop that cures all its own bacon and ham. (I think they even own the farms where the pigs are raised.)
Husband, ex-farmer, still requires his bacon and eggs for breakfast on a regular basis.
I´m so pleased Diane and I guess where you are it will be easy to find English cuts and styles of meat. I have been doing some serious research into making my own ham and bacon (either brined or dry cured) so watch this space….!
And here I thought I knew the names of pork products the world over… So glad to learn something new, and your parsley sauce sounds divine.
The English finally have something up their sleeve!
Never tried gammon yet but it sounds so flavourful specially the smoked one
Smoked gammon is probably the best (in my opinion) will have to stock up on my next trip!
Hi Chica – it seems boiled gammon isn’t so common these days – I just love it. It’s so succulent and delicious. I was always so happy when they served it at school. Best way of eating it for me was with a fried egg and a pineapple ring, although maybe the pineapple is considered a bit “uncool” these days…?
Looks like you had a great meal 🙂
Oh yes, I do remember the grilled gammon with the pineapple ring and an egg (or a cherry if you were being posh)!
Great to see a British classic. I was talking to friends about this dish just the other day and we were all craving it! And I like how you recommend using some of the stock for the sauce – de rigeur 🙂
Oh good – I wasn´t sure if this was a bit of a “non recipe” but it seems to have generated quite a bit of interest! At homke we always used some of the stock in the sauce…really gives it a wonderful flavour 🙂
Then of course you can always make some pea soup with the left over stock 🙂 Aahhhh happy days !
Ooh – I did, split pea and vegetable with a few chunks of gammon and it was soooo good!
LOL, as soon as i saw the post name i thought of a British lunch!
It´s like nursery food I think!
I’ve never heard of this sauce, but it sounds so incredible delicious and amazing. This is such a cool recipe.
Thank you Kay – it´s a great British “staple” often served with ham or bacony types of meat…
Looks like a big plate of comfort food to me. Yum!
Seriously comforting! Thanks for visiting, lovely to welcome new faces 🙂
Gammon is so delicious and also remind me of England….I love it with raspberry jamYUMMMMMY, 🙂
Hi T, Looks delicious. A friend brought me a joint out at Christmas. I am saving it for a special occasion!! A bit of shame that you can only buy it in Gib.
Regards Florence x
As soon as I have worked out how to make it I´ll let you know!
Did Big Man end up liking it after all? I’m positive you can make everything taste great!! Big Man’s very lucky to have an amazing chef like you. 🙂
Spaniards especially seem to be very tied to their typical home dishes (especially Mama’s cooking), and really, who can blame them?! D-Man (el pobresito, heheh) is a good sport and has gulped down plenty of my kitchen experiments over the years. He occasionally happens to walk by and look over my shoulder when I’m browsing through your blog for ideas, and says, “That one. Ooooh, why don’t you try THAT one?? Ven, vamos y compramos un chuletón!”
Big Man did love it and in fact we´re planning another version of this soon. I struggled when I first got here as I wanted to cook as I had cooked in the UK and realised I needed to gradually introduce new foods to Big Man (like to a child!) and now he´ll request things (non Spanish) that I haven´t made for a while. His favourites though are still “platos de cuchara”!
A beautiful dish–comfort food indeed–what a lovely thing to share with Big Man!
It was good – in fact, the sort of food we need this week as it´s cold again here!
I have never heard of it, but by your photo… I think I would love it! It looks delicious!
True comfort food!