Blackened Gammon with Salted Caramel Crackling
Oven-roasting gammon instead of boiling always produces crunchy crackling and because it is so easy, it’s a good choice for the Easter weekend.
Don’t worry about the blackened appearance. The citrus, rum and raisin sauce is just as good with cold leftovers.
Serves 6 (with leftovers)
As soon as you buy the gammon remove the wrapping and dry the skin well with kitchen paper.
Cover loosely with foil because you want the skin to dry out as much as possible and store on the bottom of the fridge until needed. You can make the sauce well in advance. Remove the outer zest from the orange using a potato peeler so that you don’t get any pith. Pile the strips on top of one another and, using a very sharp knife, cut them into thin needle-sized strips.
Next remove the zest from the lime using a fine grater, and squeeze the juice from the lime and orange. Place all the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot into a saucepan.
Whisk the arrowroot into the mixture and place the pan onto a gentle heat, whisking all the time until it starts to simmer. As soon as this happens the sauce will change from opaque to clear, so then remove it from the heat and as soon as it is cool enough pour into a serving dish, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
To cook the gammon, preheat the oven to 240ºC, gas mark 9.
Then, using a very sharp turning knife (or Stanley knife), score the skin in straight parallel lines, about 1cm apart and 5mm deep. This is easy to do if you insert only the tip of the knife, then holding the skin taut with one hand, drag the tip of the knife down in long movements. If the golden syrup is cold, warm it slightly then, using a pastry brush or a wodge of kitchen paper, lightly coat the skin, then sprinkle it with salt crystals, pressing them well in. Now place the gammon in a roasting tin skin-side up (you can use a couple of wedges of foil to keep it in position).
Place the roasting tin in the oven and after 25 minutes turn the heat down to 190°C, gas mark 4. Continue to let the gammon cook for 1¾ to 2 hours – it should feel tender all the way through when tested with a skewer.
After it comes out of the oven give it at least 30 minutes to rest, covered with foil in a warm place. Remove the sauce from the fridge and serve the gammon carved in slices, giving each person some crackling and sauce spooned over.
© Delia Smith 2012
Delia’s spoons: a useful point to remember is 2 teaspoons equates to 1 dessertspoon and 2 dessertspoons equates to 1 tablespoon.
Photograph courtesy of Waitrose
You will also need a shallow roasting tin.