Rose's Shop Watch: Christmas Ham - Lishman's Butchers
Traditional Enrik Blam Ham
The Rolls Royce of hams
Over the next two months I am going to tell you where to get the very best ham and the most succulent turkey online. It is unlikely many of us will be hitting the high street for our Christmas shopping and few of us want to face supermarket (distanced) queues. Somehow Christmas presents seem a little irrelevant, and yet the one thing we want to do this year is to treat ourselves. The Covid virus continues to bring such unpredictability that we don’t even know how many of our family we will be seeing. However, whatever the numbers, we can indulge in a traditional feast. And embrace the role food can play: food is comfort, food is caring, food is generous, food is solace. The one thing certain in this time of uncertainty is that food will bring us joy.
A Christmas ham is almost as traditional for us as a turkey. It can form the centrepiece for a Christmas Eve dinner or a Boxing Day lunch. And, I feel almost more importantly, it can provide a delicious instant lunch for days, served with pickled onions (or shallots), piccalilli or a zesty chutney (Delia’s Christmas Chutney) and a salad. So, if you too are going the whole hog (or even a leg or half a leg) then you need to go for the Rolls Royce of hams – Lishman’s Butchers of Ilkley. They are an independent butcher, who are famed for the quality of their pork products and, in particular, their hams.
They also have a fascinating story behind their success. During the last war, the grandfather of the owner, David Lishman, was a farmer in Yorkshire. Located nearby was a camp for prisoners of war, who used to help on the land. One of these prisoners was called Enrik Blam who had been a butcher back in Germany. He taught David’s grandfather, George, how to cure hams and it is the same recipe that has been preserved and is still used today. Since those days David and his daughter Emma have expanded the business and produce award-winning bacon and charcuterie. (You may want to add some of these to your order like a pork and fennel salami). The pigs are all sourced from farms that they know, mostly Easingwold, and are born in the open air and slowly grown to produce the best flavour and texture.
Of the hams, some are dry cured and can take up to 3 months to become the finished ham, while others are cured for a shorter period in a traditional “live” brine. As the website says “the result is an old fashioned well flavoured ham which is vastly different from the fast wet hams mechanically produced for a cheaper offering”. Your ham will taste like ham used to be - succulent and full of flavour.
You can buy cooked hams, but I suggest you go for one of the raw hams for your centrepiece. There are 5 to choose from in the online shop, but I am certainly going for an Enrik Blam boneless half leg – the ham that made their name. Pricey I know but it will feed 6-8 people (and give you lots of lunches) and I feel it is worth it, especially for this particular Christmas.
The hams come with a very comprehensive booklet outlining the history of the company, how to cook the ham, glaze it, and carve it as well as some recipes for using any left over. I am going to follow Delia’s recipe for Roast Collar of Bacon on Christmas Eve and serve it with braised red cabbage, parsley mash and Cumberland sauce. A feast.
The whole hog.
Enrik Blam Ham
Boneless half: £50 + p&p
Last date for ordering: 11th December for delivery 17th December
Availability and price as of 28th October 2020.
Next month: Kelly's Bronze Turkeys
Last ordering date 16th December