There’s nothing that says home cooked, family goodness quite like a gammon. People have been serving them for the holidays, other family gatherings or just a traditional family Sunday lunch for decades and it has become a celebratory classic across the Western world. Gammon is a big cut of meat that can take a very long time to cook in an oven or on the stovetop, both of which require a fair amount of attention. The slow cooker, while it still takes hours, removes the needs to hover over the stove and frees you up to get on with your day while dinner cooks away by itself. But, how to cook gammon in a slow cooker? Here's our favourite way…
How To Cook A Gammon In A Slow Cooker
The most important thing about cooking a gammon that has the delicious nostalgic flavour, no matter what the cooking method, is the spicing and seasoning. The best way to imbue your gammon with that holiday flavour is to stud the whole fatty side of the gammon in neat rows with whole cloves. This will allow the spice to penetrate the meat from the outside in and leave behind that distinct aroma. Be sure to use only enough cloves to cover the surface when spaced about 5cm apart as too many cloves can have a numbing effect on your mouth.
Another essential element to cooking a delicious gammon is adding a sweet element to contrast with the smoky qualities of the meat. This can be in the form of pineapple, sugar or, and this one is my recommendation, honey that can be brushed onto the skin the help get that caramel flavour we all know and love.
This process is minimal when it comes to prep so you can have a classic slow cooked gammon on the table with minimal effort. All that is needed after 6-8 hours of unattended cook time with a quick crisp up in the oven to finish it off.
Slow Cooker Gammon Recipe
- 2 kg gammon joint
- Whole cloves
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 bottle cider (your choice)
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup mustard
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- Black peppercorns
- Pineapple slices
- Slow cooker
- Pastry brush (yup that’s its!)
Get The Flavours Going
1. To prepare the vegetables roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery and place them in the slow cooker with the bay leaf. Sprinkle a few black peppercorns in over the top.
Prepare The Meat
2. Before you go shopping be sure to note the size of your slow cooker so you buy a gammon that can fit easily into the bowl with plenty of space for the liquids. To prepare it; stud the meat with the whole cloves across the whole fatty side of the gammon spaced roughly 5cm apart. Place the prepared gammon into the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.
Add The Liquids
3. Pour the cup of orange juice and a whole cider of your choice into the slow cooker and fill the rest with stock until the meat is completely submerged. Replace the lid.
Setting The Slow Cooker
4. Settings may vary from model to model but generally you want to set the slow cooker on low for approximately 6-8 hours until the meat is fully cooked and tender. This can vary from machine to machine. It is very hard to overcook a gammon as the longer you cook it, the softer and more tender the meat will be. However, you do want to make sure the meat will hold together so you can crisp the fat up afterwards.
5. Once the cooking process is done, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a wire rack. Cover loosely with tin foil and rest for 10 minutes. Resting your meat will allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat rather than being lost when the meat is cut for a more tender mouth feel.
Removing The Rind And Prepping The Fat
6. Once the meat is cool enough to handle insert a sharp knife between the rind and the fat and cut the rind cleanly off. This is easier to manage in thick slices rather than all at once to retain the fat cap. Throw away the rind. Now score the fat in a latticework of slices across the surface. Finally fix a series of thick pineapple slices across the fatty side of the meat secured with toothpick.
7. Preheat the oven to 220o C and place the gammon in a high sided roasting tray lined with tin foil. Mix together the honey and the mustard and brush across the entirety of the fatty side of the gammon so that it is covered in a thin even layer. Place into the oven for 15 minutes or until the fat is golden brown and crispy.
Rest And Serve
8. Like after the slow cooking step, we need to rest the meat again to retain the moisture. This time, however, rest the meat with no tin foil covering so you maintain a super crispy fatty crust. After the meat has fully rested remove the toothpicks and place on a serving plate. Carve with a very sharp carving knife into nice thick slices. Serve with roast potatoes, griller vegetables and a mustard sauce. Be sure to save the leftovers for gammon and mustard sandwiches the next day that are to die for!
How To Cook Gammon In A Slow Cooker: Summing Up
Gammon is a great meat to cook in a slow cooker so you can have all the delicious family nostalgia with half the amount of time and effort. We are all busy and would rather spend time eating with our families rather than slaving over a stove. So the next holiday season, or if you are just in the mood, why not try cook your gammon to melt in the mouth perfecting with the magic of your slow cooker.