The decision about what to have for dinner is not always an easy one. There are so many choices and possibilities we face a dilemma every time we approach the meat counter.

But the festive season came to the rescue… Crowded supermarkets encourage swift decision making. After all you do not want to share your most precious time of the week stuck in the queue or pushed by other shoppers.

So after a run through the market aisles this weekend we found in our basket a smoked gammon joint. We have not had one for years…oh boy what we missed! With some triple cooked chips and fried free range egg from our girls our gammon turned into a proper treat.



  • 500g joint of raw smoked gammon
  • 1 large leek split in half and thoroughly washed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 small onions
  • 3 carrots
  • half a head of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 10 pepper corns
  • spring of thyme
  • 100g clear honey
  • 75g dark brown sugar
  • juice and zest of one small orange
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • sea salt



Place the raw joint in a big pan with all the vegetables, herbs and star anise.  Cover completely with water, bring to boil and simmer gently for 30min. Then leave to cool down in the liquid (best left for 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 190 deg.

Drain the gammon from the water (but keep the liquid on side – it will make a delicious stock for your soup). Peel the skin of the gammon reviling the layer of fat. Score the fat in criss-cross fashion and stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.

Melt together honey, sugar, mixed spice, juice and zest of the orange. Place the joint on the roasting tray lined with tin foil.  Pour the honey paste over the meat and roast the joint basting every 7-9min with the caramelising juices.I takes 30-40 min to bake but remember to cool it down before serving.

For your skin on chips cut your King Edwards or red skin potato into chips Cover with water and bring to simmer (but not boil). As soon as the skin starts to fray from the potato remove the chips from the water into a cooling rake. Leave to cool completely.

In the meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil to 140deg. Place your chips in the frying basket and fry your chips for 8min. Remove the potato from the oil and turn the fryer up to 180deg. Place the chips back in the oil and fry 6 min.