Here's my version of a simple roast gammon, that's full of taste, but is so easy to do.
Whether you are cooking a gammon or ham for Easter, Christmas or another celebration, this one is the perfect edition.
Roasted first with the skin on for crispy crackling, then smothered in a honey mustard glaze, this gammon is fabulous hot for a roast or cold for a buffet.
With step by step instructions, and options for soaking and boiling too, your honey roast ham will be a breeze to cook.
I guarantee your guest will love it too. And, if you have leftovers, there are so many ways to use it too.
Christmas, Easter and summer buffets are just not the same without the centrepiece of a honey roast gammon or ham.
I tend to get mine prepared a day or two in advance to save time, but that doesn't mean that I want to spend loads of time soaking, boiling, roasting then making a complicated glaze.
With lots to do I opt for this simple roast gammon, which works for a ham or bacon joint too.
However, I know that sometimes the meat is way too salty for some people, so I'm including the different ways of soaking and cooking to suit every palate and oven space too!
Why you will love this recipe
- Feeds a crowd and perfect for entertaining.
- Super simple to prepare and cook.
- Variety of cooking methods.
- Easy to change the glaze.
- Instructions for reducing the salt in the ham.
- Enjoy hot or cold.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Just 5 ingredients!
Smoked or unsmoked?
Unsmoked gammon is one that has been cured with salt to preserve it. Regular salt is normally mixed with salt containing nitrates, which help to stop bacteria growing. It tends to have a mild flavour.
A smoked gammon is one that has first been cured and then subsequently smoked. The flavour is much more intense and can vary depending on the wood used for smoking.
The choice of smoked or unsmoked is up to you. I tend to use smoked, because I prefer intense flavours. However, in my opinion both varieties can sometimes be overly salty, depending on the production.
How to remove salt from the ham
If you are worried about the meat being too salty, then you can soak it in water.
It is normally safe to soak the ham for up to 72 hours, but usually overnight is sufficient. If you are soaking the ham for more than 4 hours then the water should be changed regularly every 2 hours.
When you have finished soaking the ham rinse it well in cold water, as the salt still tends to cling to the surface. Dry well with kitchen paper.
Alternatively, place the meat in a large pan with sufficient water to cover and bring to the boil for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse. Slice off a small piece to test for saltiness.
- Gammon joint - smoked and boneless with the skin left on for crackling, or without of you prefer.
- Salt - plain cooking salt for salting the skin.
- Oil - vegetable or sunflower oil or similar.
- Honey - plain clear honey.
- Mustard - coarse grain mustard as this gives a nice coating the the gammon, which is especially effective when it's sliced cold.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Large heavy roasting dish
- Pastry brush
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen paper
Line a large deep roasting dish with plenty of foil to hang over the sides.
This is to protect the meat and also to catch any excess glaze from becoming encrusted on the roasting dish.
Remove the meat from the fridge 30 minutes before you plan to cook it to bring it to room temperature and get it prepared for the oven.
If the meat isn't scored already cut parallel lines or diamonds into the skin, then dry with kitchen paper.
💭 Top Tip
- To score the skin you will need a very sharp knife. I keep a stanley knife in the kitchen to do this as it is safer than a standard kitchen knife.
- An alternative knife for safe scoring is a bread knife. This will take longer.
- Aim to score the skin only. If you cut through to the flesh then the meat juices will escape as the meat cooks, causing the meat to dry out and the crackling to become soggy.
Rub half of the salt into the skin, paying particular attention to the fat in between the cuts.
This will help the skin to open out.
Leave for 30 minutes then wash off the salt with cold water and dry the skin with paper towel.
Rub the skin with the oil and sprinkle over the remaining salt.
Place the meat in the roasting dish and scrunch up the foil to protect any areas of meat while leaving the skin uncovered.
⏲️ Roasting Time
Calculate the cooking time by allowing 30 minutes per 500g, (approx. half a pound), plus an extra 30 minutes. So a 2kg joint, ( approx. 4.5 pounds), will take 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes to get the heat into the fat, as the hot fat puffs up and forms the crackling.
Reduce the heat to 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4.
Continue roasting then remove the meat from the oven 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
The crackling should now be ready.
💭 Top Tip
- The crackling may still seem soft in places, but it will harden as it cools.
- Occasionally the crackling isn't crispy all over. Either return the cut off crackling to the oven for the last 30 minutes or place under the grill for a few minutes. Watch it carefully, as it can quickly burn.
Pull the foil away from the meat but leave it in the roasting dish.
Use a carving knife to remove the crackling and set aside to cool.
Trim off any excess fat if you wish, to leave an even layer.
Mix together the honey and mustard in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to cover the meat.
Return the meat to the oven for the final 30 minutes to bake the glaze.
Rest the meat for 30 minutes in a warm place before carving if serving hot.
If serving cold, leave the simple roast gammon to cool completely before slicing.
🥗 Side Dishes
There are plenty of different side dishes, but I think these ones go particularly well.
Serve hot with
- Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips
- Minted Mushy Peas
- Pork Stuffing
- Pan Haggerty
- Leeks in White Sauce
- Roast Potatoes
- Onion Sauce
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese
Serve cold with
- Parmentier Potatoes
- Carrot and Celeriac Remoulade
- Caramelised Red Onion Chutney
- Fennel and Pear Salad
- Broccoli and Edamame Salad
- Mustard - use French mustard or Dijon mustard. English mustard is much stronger, so if you use this instead, reduce the amount slightly.
- Traditional - score the fat in to diamonds and cover with honey. Place a whole clove in the centre of each diamond before the final bake.
- Marmalade - spread chunky orange marmalade over the fat before baking.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Freezer - wrap weel and freezefor up to 6 months.
- To reheat - reheat sliced honey roast ham by wrapping in a foil parcel and reheating in the oven. To use in other dishes simply chop into the desired size and add to the dish towards the end of cooking.
It was very popular to simmer the gammon for the cooking time, which you may prefer to do if the meat doesn't have skin.
Place the meat in a saucepan with enough water to cover and bring to a simmer then cook for the recommended time as if roasting. Keep the water topped up periodically, so that the meat is not exposed.
Alternatively, remove the meat 30 minutes before the end of cooking and roast in the oven as a honey roast ham.
You can also simmer the meat for half the time and roast for half if you prefer.
Gammon and ham both refer to the cut of pork taken from the hind legs.
Although they are often used interchangeably, gammon refers to cured pork that is uncooked, whereas ham refer to cured pork that is already cooked and ready for eating.
Boiled bacon was a popular dish traditionally. This refers to cured pork shoulder that was boiled until it was cooked. It was often served with boiled potato carrots and cabbage.
Of course, the bacon we generally refer to is cured pork from the belly of a pig.
There are so many dishes that you can make with simple roast gammon.
Serve cold in slices for a salad and serve hot with roast chicken or in a toasted sandwich with cheese.
Cut into chunks to use in a pie like turkey and ham, pasta bakes or salads.
Chop into smaller pieces to use in rice dishes, soups, French peas, leeks in white sauce, tartiflette or add to potatoes dauphinoise.
More ham recipes
- Turkey and Ham Pie
- Chicken Leek and Ham Pie
- Quiche Lorraine
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Bourbon Glazed Ham
- London Particular Soup
Simple Roast Gammon
- Large heavy roasting dish
- Pastry brush
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen paper
- 2 kg gammon
- 2 tablespoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
- Line a large deep roasting dish with foil to hang over the sides.
- Bring the meat to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
- Score the skin and dry the meat with kitchen paper.
- Rub half of the salt into the skin. Leave for 30 minutes then wash off the salt with cold water and dry the skin with paper towel.
- Rub the skin with the oil and sprinkle over the remaining salt.
- Place the meat in the roasting dish and scrunch up the foil to protect any areas of meat while leaving the skin uncovered.
- Calculate the cooking time by allowing 30 minutes per 500g, (approx. half a pound), plus an extra 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4.
- Continue roasting then remove the meat from the oven 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Pull the foil away from the meat, remove the crackling and set aside to cool.
- Trim off any excess fat if you wish, to leave an even layer.
- Mix together the honey and mustard in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to cover the meat.
- Return the meat to the oven for the final 30 minutes to bake the glaze.
- Rest the meat for 30 minutes in a warm place before carving if serving hot.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
More pork recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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