When I was a child Gammon/Ham was the centre piece of every Easter celebration dinner. It was always served cold, thinly sliced, with mustard and mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side. In all honesty as a child, I was far too full of chocolate and candy to really get too excited about Easter dinner. There would have been a lemon pie for dessert though and that would have gotten me plenty excited. (Its my favourite!)
I had toyed with the idea of getting a leg of lamb this year, but the gammon was just the right price and so I went with gammon. It was New Zealand lamb anyways, and so I didn't feel too disappointed about that. Not that there is anything wrong with New Zealand lamb . . . but I do prefer British lamb. I cannot tell a lie.
I am also a tad bit biased. ;-) Anyways, the gammon was cooked, covered, in a roaster in the oven along with a mixture of vegetables, stock and apple juice until it was tender. I then skinned it and glazed it with a delicious apricot and apple juice glaze.
Perfectly glazed . . . nice and sticky . . . tender, perfectly cooked meat. What more could you want? I added some scalloped potatoes, carrot casserole and peas on the side.
*Apricot Glazed Gammon/Ham*Serves 6 to 8
The Carrot Casserole is a very old recipe that I have had for a very long time. It goes perfectly with roasted meats of all kinds and is perfect for a holiday dinner. Cooked carrots are mixed with a delicious sauce, covered in buttered crumbs and then baked until all bubbly and golden brown. Fabulous!
*Carrot Casserole*Serves 4 -6
Put the carrots in a saucepan. Cover with lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and then cook until tender. Drain, reserving 60ml of the cooking water (1/4 cup)
These old fashioned Scalloped Potatoes are made just the way my mother and my grandmother before her made them. No cream sauce needed, you simply slice the potatoes and layer them in a dish with sliced onion, butter, flour, and seasoning. (I like to add some grated cheese on special occasions) Milk is poured over top and then the dish is covered and baked until the potatoes are tender. I like to add some buttered cubes of bread to the top. They help to keep the milk from overflowing and add a nice crunch and flavour. You will want to use full fat milk for this delicious dish! I always buy in a special bottle of Jersey Full Cream Milk. (That is the brand I use, up there. It comes from Scotland and I buy it as Asda. This week it was on offer for £1.)
You'll see lots of versions of this recipe which call for the making of a bechamel sauce to cook the sliced potatoes in. My mom never did this, and to be honest we never minded. We always just loved them the way she did them. I still think they are the best of all.
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 TBS flour
2 TBS softened butter
2 TBS finely chopped onion
1 TBS finely chopped parsley
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups whole milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Generously butter a large baking dish. Place half of the potatoes into the dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt, pepper, flour, onion, cheese and parsley. Dot with half the butter. Repeat the layer, ending with the remaining butter. Pour the milk over top to cover the potatoes. Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until tender. Take off the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown the top. Serve warm.
Optional topping - one or two slices of bread, buttered and broken into chunks. Scatter over top before baking and cover as above.