AS the cold winter days seem to be hitting us the hardest just now, everyone is craving comforting and homely dishes.
The process of slow cooking fills the house with enticing scents and makes for an easy dinner. You can place an entire dish on to simmer on a low temperature and forget about it for hours. Minimum effort but the outcome is really satisfying.
This week, I share my recipe for honey roasted ham hough. It is a great alternative to a Sunday roast. Perfect Sunday fodder as it gives you hours of free time to truly enjoy your day off!
A lot of us tend to ignore ham and go straight for beef or chicken when cooking at home but it is a much more cost-effective ingredient as well as being flavoursome.
Ham houghs are a really inexpensive cut of meat; they will only set you back about £1.85 each which will feed 2-3 people. Having a good relationship with your local butcher means you will get the best advice and deals.
Ham houghs are available smoked or unsmoked, I prefer the smoked ones as they add an extra layer of flavour which compliments perfectly the sweet honey in this recipe.
Poaching the ham in a large amount of water for a long period of time removes most of the salt and allows the meat to become succulent and tender.
The final roasting of the meat with the honey means that you end up with a really crisp skin and a developed depth of flavour. The leftovers from this dish make the most tempting sandwiches and pies so no harm in cooking a little bit extra to be used in the days following the meal. You will be the envy of the office if you show up on a Monday with honey roasted ham hough sandwiches for lunch!
1 ham hough
7 litres of water
1. Place the ham hough in a large pot and cover with 6 litres of water.
2. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer and poach the ham hough for three hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
4. Gently lift the ham hough out of the water and place in a deep roasting tray.
5. Pour over the honey and the remaining water, the water stops the meat sticking to tray and prevents the honey from burning.
6. Place in the oven for one hour, basting the meat with the honey and water every 20 minutes or so.