2kg mild-cure gammon
1 onion peeled and cut in half
2 litre-bottle coke
1 heaped tbsp black treacle
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1. If you know that you’re dealing with a salty piece, then put it in a pan covered with cold water, bring to the boil then tip into a sieve and start from here. Otherwise, put it in a pan, skin side down if you can, add onion then pour on the Coke. Bring to boil, then simmer and put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for slightly less than 2 1/2 hours. If your joint is larger or smaller work out timing by reckoning on an hour a kilo altogether, remembering that it’s going to get a quick blast in the oven later. If the gammon’s been in the fridge right up to the moment you cook it, you will have to give a good 15 or so minutes’ extra so that the interior is properly cooked. Near the end, preheat your oven to 240C.
2. When the ham’s had its time take it out of the pan but DO NOT THROW AWAY THE COOKING LIQUID (great stock for soups or gravy) and let cool a little for ease of handling. (Indeed you can let it cool completely then finish off the cooking at some later stage if you want).
3. Then remove skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes, and stud each diamond with a clove. Then carefully spread the treacle over the bark-budded skin taking care not to dislodge the cloves. Then gently pat the mustard and sugar onto the sticky fat. Cook, in a foil lined roasting tin for approximately 10 minutes or till the glaze is burnished and bubbly.
4. Should you want to do the braising stage in advance and then let the ham cool, clove and glaze it and give it 30-40 minutes, from room temperature, at 180C/gas mark 4, turning up the heat towards the end if you think it needs it.