I'm not a professional chef by any means, but I know my way around the kitchen. This year after watching Gordon Ramsays holiday special with all the recipes I decided to attempt cooking a fresh ham (gammon) for Christmas dinner. Afterall, fresh Turkey is always better than a frozen one at Thanksgiving. I thought this would be healthy for the family and hopefully very tasty!
A trip to the butcher who seemed confused what I wanted (since I guess gammon is a UK term for ham). I ended up with a 15 pound hunk of meat, raw, in netting. It looked like a pork leg with the bone removed. Seemed right.
I went home and cooked the meat according to the receipe. Everything was exactly right except I had to use ground coriander seeds due to availability issues at our local grocery store.
After simmering for hours, I removed the ham from the pot. To my surprise it really didn't look anything like ham. It looked like a regular pork roast one would make for New Years with Sauerkraut. It was white/gray and tasted just like pulled pork, NOT anything like ham. I decided to not waste my time and effort on the glazing step and figured to save it for New Years at this point.
So I am left very confused. Did I end up with the wrong cut of meat or did I do something wrong?
After searching hours on the net for answers, the best I could find was that ham is 'cured' to get that flavor and pink color.
Looking at that same recipe on several sites, none state that the gammon should be cured nor do the instructions include any curing or brine process prior to cooking. The TV episode & website picture shows a nice juicy pink looking ham which is nothing like the gray looking blob I ended up with!
I am very thankful that I decided to cook this early on Christmas Eve. It was to be for Christmas dinner, but I was fortunate enough to know something was not right. I made it to the store in time to get a regular boring pre-cooked, chemical-processed ham to have again this year. A hard lessson, over $40 wasted and lots of time for nothing.
I would really like to know if I did something wrong. Everthing seems to point to it should have been cured (which is not mentioned in the recipe!)
Thanks and Merry Christmas!