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Member recipe

Boiled Bacon

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Serves 6

A classic with lots of veggies that can be shared with the family

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  • 900g (2lb) piece of gammon (unsmoked)
  • Bouquet garni of Thyme, sage and bay leaf and a few black peppercorns, tied in a leak or a bought, ready made bouquet garni
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 16 baby onions, peeled
  • Knob of butter plus 50g (2oz)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, split and cut into 3cm (1 1/4") pieces
  • 2tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs e.g. parsley, sage and chrvil
  • Seasoning


    1. Soak the gammon for 24 hours, changing the water several times. Once soaked, rinse the gammon in cold water and place in a stock pot with water to cover. Bring to the boil and refresh under cold water. Now the gammon, along with the bouquet garni, can be topped once more with cold water just to cover, covered with a lid and brought to a simmer. Cook with the lid ajar for 2 1/2 hours. The meat will be so tender and succulent to eat. The vegetables and potatoes will need to be added during the cooking process. Here's the method. 45 minutes before the meat has finished, the potato quarters can be added. this gives them plenty of time to begin to break, slightly thickening the liquor. Place the button onions in a saucepan of cold water and bring to the simmer. Drain. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and saute the onions until well coloured. These can now be added to the soup, giving it a slightly 'roasted' flavour. The carrots can also be added. After the gammon's cooking time, cover with a lid and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Return to a gently simmer, remove the bouquet garni and add the 50g (2oz) of butter and chopped herbs. Check for seasoning and the 'meal' is ready to offer to to the family. The gammon will'carve' with a spoon, and can be served in a large bowl in the centre of the table. Allow people to help themselves and serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread to soak up the stock.
    2. Tip If using chicken or rabbit, the cooking time can be reduced to 1-1 1/2 hours. Many other vegetables can be added - cauliflower, swedes, turnips, mushrooms, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli and peas. If using green vegetables, cook seperately to maintain their colour and add just before serving.

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