Gammon is a type of ham that is cured or smoked. The meat is usually cut from the hind leg of a pig and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting, grilling, broiling, or boiling. When cooked well, gammon is juicy, tender, and full of flavor. However, one thing that can elevate the taste of gammon is a good sauce. In this article, we will explore the different sauces that complement gammon and enhance its flavor.
What is Gammon?
Gammon is a popular meat choice in the UK, particularly during Christmas and Easter. It is often confused with ham, but unlike ham, gammon is not fully cooked when it is sold. It needs to be soaked in water overnight to remove the excess salt and then boiled or roasted till it’s cooked through.
Gammon is a versatile meat that can be served in a variety of ways. It can be glazed with honey or mustard, served with pineapple or apple sauce, or even used as a pizza topping. In addition to its delicious taste, gammon is also a good source of protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc.
How to Cook Gammon Perfectly
The cooking method varies depending on your preference. If you prefer your gammon to be soft and succulent, then boiling is the way to go. If you prefer a more caramelized, crispy texture, then roasting or grilling is the best option. To boil gammon, rinse it off and place it in a large pot of water. Add spices like bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves to enhance the flavor. Cover the pot and let it simmer over medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes per pound of meat, or until cooked thoroughly. For roasting, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 and place the gammon joint in an oven-proof dish. Brush it with some oil or mustard and add spices if desired. Roast for 20-25 minutes per pound of meat, or until the internal temperature reaches 71°C. Remember to rest the gammon for a few minutes before serving.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your gammon, you can try marinating it before cooking. A simple marinade of honey, mustard, and brown sugar can add a sweet and tangy taste to the meat. Simply mix the ingredients together and coat the gammon joint with the marinade. Leave it to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before cooking.
Leftover gammon can be used in a variety of dishes, such as sandwiches, salads, and soups. You can also use it to make a delicious gammon and potato bake. Simply layer sliced potatoes and gammon in a baking dish, pour over some cream and grated cheese, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbly.
Why Sauce is Important for Gammon
Sauces are an excellent addition to gammon as they can complement the taste of the meat and add some moisture to it. Good sauces can balance the salty and rich flavors of the gammon, making it a more flavorful and enjoyable experience.
One popular sauce for gammon is pineapple sauce. The sweetness of the pineapple can cut through the saltiness of the gammon, creating a delicious contrast of flavors. Another great sauce option is mustard sauce, which adds a tangy kick to the gammon and can help to cut through any fatty or greasy textures.
It’s important to note that not all sauces work well with gammon. For example, creamy sauces like hollandaise or béarnaise may overpower the gammon’s flavor and texture. Similarly, overly sweet sauces like honey mustard or barbecue sauce may clash with the gammon’s natural saltiness. When choosing a sauce for gammon, it’s best to opt for something that complements the meat’s natural flavors without overpowering them.
Classic Sauces for Gammon
Classic sauces that go well with gammon include mustard sauce, cranberry sauce, and parsley sauce. Mustard sauce is tangy and works well with the saltiness of the gammon. Cranberry sauce adds a sweet flavor that cuts through the saltiness of the meat, while parsley sauce is fresh and zesty and helps cut through the richness of the gammon.
Another classic sauce that pairs well with gammon is apple sauce. The sweetness of the apple complements the saltiness of the gammon, creating a delicious balance of flavors. To make apple sauce, simply peel and chop some apples, add a bit of sugar and water, and cook until the apples are soft. Then, blend the mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency. Serve the apple sauce alongside the gammon for a tasty and traditional combination.
Quick and Easy Sauces for Gammon
If you’re short on time, some quick and easy sauces that you can whip up include honey mustard sauce, BBQ sauce, and apple sauce. Honey mustard is a great combination of sweet and tangy and can be made by mixing honey, whole grain mustard, and Dijon mustard. BBQ sauce is smoky and adds a lot of flavor to the gammon, while apple sauce is a classic accompaniment that adds sweetness to the meat.
Another great sauce to try with gammon is a pineapple glaze. This sauce is made by mixing pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger. The sweetness of the pineapple juice pairs well with the saltiness of the gammon, while the ginger adds a subtle spice. Simply brush the glaze onto the gammon during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking for a delicious and flavorful finish.
Sweet Sauces for Gammon
For those who enjoy sweet flavors, the best sauces to accompany gammon would be orange marmalade sauce, pineapple sauce, or maple syrup sauce. Orange marmalade sauce is sweet and tangy and adds some zing to the gammon. Pineapple sauce is tropical and refreshing and adds a sweet flavor to the meat, while maple syrup sauce is rich and sweet and can be made by mixing maple syrup, mustard, and cornstarch.
Savory Sauces for Gammon
If savory flavors are what you’re after, then mushroom sauce, onion gravy, and cream and white wine sauce are great options. Mushroom sauce is earthy and rich and adds some depth of flavor to the gammon. Onion gravy is classic and hearty and goes well with roasted gammon, while a cream and white wine sauce is luxurious and adds a silky texture to the meat.
Tangy Sauces for Gammon
Lemon sauce, horseradish sauce, and chimichurri sauce are tangy options that work well with gammon. Lemon sauce is zesty and fresh, while horseradish sauce is pungent and adds some heat to the meat. Chimichurri sauce, made from parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil, is tangy and herby and a great option for those who like bold flavors.
Spicy Sauces for Gammon
For those who enjoy spicy flavors, hot sauce, jerk sauce, and sriracha sauce are some great options. Hot sauce is punchy and fiery and adds a lot of flavor to the gammon, while jerk sauce is smoky and has a nice heat to it. Sriracha sauce is a blend of sweet, sour, and spicy and is perfect for those who love Asian flavors.
Creamy Sauces for Gammon
Creamy sauces like cheese sauce, béchamel sauce, or hollandaise sauce are rich and indulgent and perfect for those who want to add a touch of luxury to their gammon. Cheese sauce adds a nice cheesy flavor to the meat and is perfect for those who like their sauces thick and creamy. Béchamel sauce is silky and smooth and can be made with chicken stock, milk, and flour. Hollandaise sauce, made with egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice, is a classic sauce that is perfect for brunch or special occasions.
Homemade Sauce Recipes for Gammon
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making some homemade sauces for your gammon. Good options include tomato sauce, mint and apple sauce, or whisky sauce. Tomato sauce is easy to make and can be made with canned tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Mint and apple sauce is a classic sauce that works well with gammon, and whisky sauce is an earthy and boozy sauce that adds a bold flavor to the meat.
Store-Bought Sauces for Gammon: Pros and Cons
If you’re short on time or simply don’t want to make your own sauce, you can always opt for store-bought sauces. While store-bought sauces are convenient, they may not always be as flavorful or fresh as homemade sauces. It’s important to read the label and choose sauces that have natural ingredients and no added preservatives or artificial flavors.
Pairing Wine with Sauces and Gammon
Pairing wine with gammon can be tricky, as the meat has a strong flavor that needs to be balanced with the right wine. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pairing wine with sauces and gammon, some good options include Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Chardonnay. Zinfandel is fruity and has a bold flavor that complements barbeque sauces well, while Pinot Noir is light and silky and goes well with rich and creamy sauces. Chardonnay is buttery and oaky and works well with mustard and apple sauces.
Tips and Tricks: How to Serve Sauce with Gammon
When it comes to serving sauce with gammon, there are a few tips and tricks that can help enhance the flavors and presentation. First, warm up the sauce before serving to ensure it’s at the right temperature. Second, spoon the sauce over the gammon instead of smothering it, so as not to overpower the taste of the meat. Finally, garnish the sauce with fresh herbs or spices to add some color and flavor to the dish.
Health Benefits of Adding Sauce to Your Gammon Dish
Adding sauce to your gammon dish not only enhances the flavor but can also boost its nutritional content. Good sauces can add vitamins and minerals to the dish, such as vitamin C from cranberry sauce or fiber from apple sauce. Sauces can also add some moisture to the gammon, preventing it from becoming dry and tough.
How to Store Leftover Sauce
If you have leftover sauce, it’s essential to store it correctly to ensure its freshness and safety. In general, sauces should be stored in airtight containers and refrigerated within two hours of being made or opened. Most sauces can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, but it’s always best to check the label and follow the instructions. If you have a lot of leftover sauce, you can freeze it in small portions and thaw as needed.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to sauces that go well with gammon. Whether you prefer sweet, savory, creamy, or tangy flavors, there’s a sauce out there for you. Experiment with different sauces and find the perfect one to complement your gammon dish, and enjoy the flavors and aromas of this timeless classic.