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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Coca Cola Ham

This month is always the most challenging and soon it will be over bringing with it the close of yet another year.

Stressing as it can be I actually enjoy the process of putting up the tree, reading through cook books and planning menus. The demands of the Christmas rush and the excitement of getting new things and of course giving things to others.

Foodie wise this has been a month of three new gadgets, more on them later, and a number of new recipes.  I have a couple of things put to one side to blog about over the next few weeks so hopefully next years resolution (to post more) will be achievable.  I feel more inspired to post now since good things seem to be happening with my blog.  Let me summarise...

First thing to happen was an email from '' to inform me that my blog has been selected for their blog of the day.  This was great timing as it happend to fall on a Saturday and I noted a sudden jump in viewers and a couple more followers.  I can now proudly display their 'featured blog' logo on my site and if look carefully I am sure you will spot it.  Hopefully this won't be the first time my blog is featured!

Second bit of good news was this my blog finally made it in to the 'Foodies 500' ranking system.  Still a long way to go before I get in the top 100 and that would be amazing but for the time being simply seeing that my work is slowly making its way up the charts is brilliant!

And finally I have noticed an increase in daily traffic, not that high, but it finally feels like I am writing to readers not simply to myself.  Thank you!!

I am rather lucky to have slowly built up a collection of expensive gadgets.   There is no chance I could simply go out and buy them all, instead I have to collect them one by one, saving up or waiting for Christmas before I can finally get my hands on that piece of kitchen  equipment that all those TV cooks have.  This year my collection of Kitchenaid gadgets increased to a snazzy new kettle that allows you to select the correct water temperature for your needs and the fab Kitchenaid Two slice toaster.  Now this isn't just any toaster...this toaster has a gadget lovers feature that beats all other toasters...simply placing the bread, bagel or whatever in the slots and watch as the toaster automatically lowers the item and toasts to perfection before raising it again.  Forget to take it out or not quite ready for it yet? No problem this clever device will automatically lower the toast and keep it warm for you until your ready.  Gadget perfection.   

I also received a kitchen blow torch as a present, amazing!  I have already brunt many a thing for the sake of burning it just to see how it works.  More to follow about this gadget as I am sure I will find many uses for it and it wont be long until a few recipes appear on here that requires its use.

It is my intention to write one more post before the year is out - a retrospective on my first year of writing a foodie blog.  But todays post is a recipe I have tired before but without much sucess.  Coca Cola ham is a recipe by Nigella Lawson and is one of those recipes that make you think 'really?'.  However I am very happy to say that it works, its fab and its very easy.  The first time I made it, a year ago actually, I made the error of purchasing a smoked gammon joint and the resulting ham was far to smokey to be enjoyed. This year I made sure that I brought a simple plain 2kg gammon joint.  Simmered for over two hours in one bottle of coke and simply glazed and charred in the oven for 10 minutes this ham was perfect for the Boxing Day buffet and to stash away in the fridge to be picked at all week.

Coca Cola Ham
by Nigella Lawson

2 kg mild-cure gammon joint (unsmoked)
1 red onion, peel and cut in half
2 litres coco-cola

handful of cloves
1 heaped tbsp black treacle
2 tsp english mustard powder
2 tbsp demerara sugar

If you know your gammon joint is salty it would be wise to place in a large pan, add cold water, bring to boil and tip out the water.  Then your ready to start.

Place  your gammon joint skin side down in a large pan (big enough to hold all the coke).  Add the onion halves and all the coke.  Expect a fizzing black brew.


Bring to the boil and then reduce to a good simmer and cook for 2 1/2 hours with a lid on.  This timing is for the 2kg gammon.  For larger/smaller work out the cooking time based on an hour per kilo.  Don't worry about the strange black foam or the little bits of black that appears...its working!

After the simmering stage, pre-heat the oven to 240C (very hot indeed).

Remove the ham from the cooking liquid and carefully remove the skin.  This should be very easy now.  Remove as much fat as you like but ideally  you should leave enough to give a protective coating to the ham while it roasts.

Cut diamond shaped lines across the fat - again this should be very easy since the fat is so soft.  Stud with cloves.

Pour over the black treacle and use a pasty brush to work over the joint.

Sprinkle over the mustard powder and sugar. 

Cook for 10 minutes (on a baking sheet lined with foil).

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Serve now or after cooling store in the fridge to pick at later.