By David Malan, Cheesemaker - Kokerboom Kaas.
A gammon is a dry cured, smoked ham, cured for a minimum of 21 days, then cold smoked on wine barrel oak for 2-3 hours.
A kassler bratten or neck bratten is a wet cured, smoked ham – cured 72 hours then cold smoked on wine barrel oak for 2-3 hours.
Our meat is hand crafted with great respect and care. Commercial gammons are more often than not merely wet cured then rubbed with liquid smoke – yes, properly cooked, can taste very good and much cheaper! You get what you pay for!
People often ruin their hams by:
Over cooking and drying out
Over cooking until the meat falls apart
The hams are then baked and glazed in a 180 Celsius oven, so you can imagine the result – a dry, overcooked, tough piece of meat that is difficult to carve and apart from the glaze, devoid of proper flavour.
Nonetheless, Christmas revellers still love it – because the just don’t know!
A pot large enough to hold the meat so it can be completely submerged with a little head space
An oven that can sit at 90 degrees Celsius
A MEAT THERMOMETER – haven’t got one – buy one – you will need it!!!!
You will receive your ham frozen perhaps. Place it in as dish in the fridge for 24 hours to defrost
Remove the ham from the plastic bag.
Place in a roasting pan. Go to the section “GLAZING” and prepare your glaze.
There are 2 ways of cooking your ham:
Boiling. Place in a large pot and cover with 2 litres of ginger ale, ginger beer or even coca cola. Bring to the boil slowly and simmer until the core temperature is 55 Celsius. Do not try guessing! You need to use a thermometer! Once the temperature has been reached, remove ham from the pot and glaze as per instructions that follow.
Baking. My favourite way! Preheat your oven to 90 Celsius. Place your ham on a baking tray in the centre of your oven. If your oven has a steam feature, set to medium steam. If not, place an oven proof dish filled with tap water alongside your roast. Let your ham bake until the core temperature, measured with a meat thermometer, reaches 55 Celsius. This will take 3 – 4 hours so be patient. When you get here, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly – 30 minutes. Glaze as per instructions
GLAZING YOUR HAM
Set oven to 180 Celsius
Your ham should be just cool enough to handle –
Place it in a clean sink and carefully remove the net enclosing the gammon. Replace on roasting pan
With a sharp knife, carefully remove the rind from the fat cap ensuring you leave as much fat behind as possible. Take your time!
Score the fat cap into diamonds and centre stud each diamond with a whole clove
Carefully smear you mustard rub all over the top side (fat cap side) of the ham
Place in your oven until core temperature reaches 60 Celsius
Using a basting brush, coat the ham with the glaze – be careful not to damage the fat cap!! Coat the visible parts of the ham only – do not turn over or remove from pan
Return to the oven
After 5 minutes repeat. Do this twice
Leave in oven until core temp is 65 Celsius
Remove from oven and let cool – it will continue cooking to 70 with residual heat
2 heaped tablespoons of mustard any sort – your choice – I use German beer mug Mustard
4 heaped tablespoons of brown sugar or demerara sugar
Combine in a bowl
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons each of soy and Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons of honey or brown sugar
4 cm root ginger grated
½ teaspoon each of nutmeg (or cinnamon) and powdered cloves
Place in a small sauce pan, bring to boil for 5 minutes on simmer and remove from stove
Place ham on a carving board. Surround with canned pineapple rings. Place a canned apricot half in the centre of each ring and a glazed cherry in the centre of the apricot.
That is a suggestion. You can go mad with your own ideas – fresh flowers, herb sprigs and so on.
Using a razor sharp knife, slice as thinly as possible from tapered end to end – enjoy with a good mustard or apple sauce