Thursday, 31 January 2008

The ham

The first time I saw Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contesa) on her cooking program I watched in horror as she flattened feminism with her rolling pin, swanned about her enormous house in the Hamptons preparing excessive amounts of rich food for her sweater wearing cheesy friends and doted upon husband Jeffrey. But for some reason, I am intrigued by her and her complete lack of irony. I've even started to try her recipes and mimic her favorite expressions: "let's have a party", "it's going to be so much fun" and "why does everything start with a stick of butter?"

This is Ina's recipe for ham glaze and like everything Ina makes, it's "so good".


6 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup good mango chutney
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Score and stud the fat of the ham with cloves. Spread with the glaze and cook in a preheated 160 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.

If you want to cook the ham from 'green' rather than buy a cooked ham, here is what you do before glazing.

Soak the gamon in a basin of cold water overnight. To cook, place ham in a pot large enough to hold it. Place it on the stove and fill with cold water, then add a handful of cloves and peppercorns, several bay leaves, a couple of star anise and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Put it over a medium heat and bring slowly to the boil, for about 30 minutes. Watch it carefully - as soon as the first bubble breaks the surface, turn the heat right down. It is very important that you don't let the ham boil. Allow a cooking time of 20 minutes per 500g. Cook in the water for two thirds of the cooking time. Remove from the water, remove the rind and glaze the ham as above. Transfer to a preheated 160 degree oven and cook for remainder of the cooking time.

Of course, ham is the perfect way to indulge in some chutney loving.

For this occasion I cracked open a jar of pear and capsicum chutney.

I had managed to let the chutney mellow for a whole 2 weeks and it was delicious. Not too sweet and not too sour but just right.

1 comment:

Caitlin Ryan said...

That ham was so,so good. I agree Ina is a conundrum - a multi-millionaire successful business woman who has created a brand around being the little homemaker in the kitchen and pleasing your hard-working husband at all times. Similar to UK's Delia I guess - who has just destroyed her brand with her latest cookbook 'A Cheat's Guide to Cooking'. Nobody wants Delia to be a cheater. I have worked with Delia on an ad campaign and she was ruthless about control over her 'brand'. I am really surprised she has gone down this route. I bet Ina would never cheat.