There are 3 points I recall about my gran’s residence: the odor of coal dust from the open fires the freezing cold outside the house bathroom and the sluggish and tranquil bubble of a ham cooking on the black-leaded kitchen array. Even now, 50 percent a century later on, I assume of her when I boil a piece of ham, its extra fat slowly and gradually turning to quivering jelly, the meat puttering absent in an fragrant bathtub of h2o with onion and carrot, bay leaves and peppercorns (I’m really guaranteed she popped a clove or three in there, as well). It is a favourite meal I cook all as well not often, even with every single mouthful coming with deep passion and a ladle’s value of recollections.
My gran, Lily, served her ham in slim slices with some of its broth and, often, a dish of pickled beetroot. I offer you mine in a related way, but with a tangle of pickled cabbage whose crunchy, sweet-bitter addition I prefer to beetroot, and a bowl of fried jerusalem artichokes, initially steamed for softness then fried with parsley and lemon to crisp the edges. I just can’t visualize my gran at any time saw (or read of) a jerusalem artichoke, but they do have an affinity with ham.
Neither would she have upended a bottle of cider into the poaching liquid, but I do frequently and I occasionally include things like an apple, way too. Both sweeten the cooking liquor, which fortunately is no more time as salty as it was in decades absent by. I normally increase a ladle of it – scented with juniper, onion and bay – to every plate.
Ham with juniper and cider, fried artichokes
I invest in a piece of unsmoked ham, about 1kg in bodyweight, tied and all set for the pot. (Thank goodness times of soaking a piece of ham in advance of boiling are over.) It feeds four but leaves small for later on, so it could be worthy of buying a larger piece and increasing the cooking time appropriately.
For the ham:
onion 1, massive
boiling ham 1 x 1kg piece
apples 2, medium
carrots 4, tiny
celery 1 rib
parsley stalks a handful
bay leaves 3
juniper berries 6
still cider 1 litre
For the artichokes:
jerusalem artichokes 500g
olive oil 2 tbsp
parsley leaves 25g (a very good handful)
Peel the onion, slice it in fifty percent and location in a massive, deep saucepan with the ham. Slice the apples in fifty percent and incorporate to the pan. Trim and scrub the carrots, slash the celery stalk in 50 percent and incorporate to the pan. Incorporate the parsley stalks, bay leaves, black peppercorns and juniper berries to the pan, then pour in the cider and 1 litre of h2o. The ham might not be completely submerged in liquid – no issue – it will partly prepare dinner in its very own steam, and you can transform it around for the duration of cooking.
Deliver the ham to the boil, then lower the warmth to a mild simmer, partially cover with a lid and leave to cook dinner for 1 hour. Transform the ham around halfway by way of cooking. Take away from the heat and set apart to rest for 10-15 minutes though you fry the artichokes.
For the artichokes, peel them as most effective you can (they are knobbly and not the least complicated to peel), then location them in a steamer basket or colander in excess of a pan of warm drinking water, include tightly with a lid and steam for 10-15 minutes until finally tender to the stage of a knife. Eliminate from the heat and halve each and every artichoke lengthways.
Warm the butter and oil in a shallow pan about a average heat. As it begins to bubble, include the artichokes, minimize side down and leave for 5 or 6 minutes to brown lightly. In the meantime, chop the parsley and finely grate the lemon. Transform the artichokes on to their backs, permit them cook dinner for a few minutes more time, then incorporate the parsley and lemon, and a grinding of salt and black pepper.
Remove the ham from its liquor and slice thinly. Provide with the artichokes and the crimson cabbage and spoonfuls of its possess apple-scented cooking liquor.
Pickled purple cabbage and ginger
This will make additional than you will will need for the ham, but it feels pointless earning a smaller quantity when it is so handy to have close to. The glowing accompaniment comes out in our dwelling with almost everything from bread and cheese to sushi. While this recipe has the classic additions of mustard seeds and allspice, I introduce an ingredient of heat with sliced ginger root.
Will make 2 x 750 ml storage jars
cider vinegar 480ml
malt vinegar 180ml
black peppercorns 15
mustard seeds 2 tsp
chilli flakes ½ tsp
sugar 2 tbsp
sea salt flakes 2 tbsp
shallots 4 compact
red cabbage 600g
Sterilise your storage jars. Bring the kettle to the boil, then pour the drinking water into the storage jars and depart for 2 minutes prior to emptying.
Put the cider and malt vinegars, h2o, peppercorns, allspice, mustard seeds, chilli flakes, sugar and salt into a stainless-metal saucepan and provide to the boil. Peel and finely slice the ginger (you should virtually be capable to see as a result of it), then increase it to the pan with the sliced shallots and boil for 2 minutes.
Shred the crimson cabbage – I like mine about the width of a pencil, but with some sliced a lot more finely – and area it in a heat-proof mixing bowl. Pour the warm pickling liquor about the veggies, then toss all the things alongside one another. Ladle into the storage jars, seal and allow to great. They will hold for various weeks in the fridge.
Abide by Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater