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Sliced smoked gammon on a wooden table with addition of fresh herbs and aromatic spices. Natural product from organic farm, produced by traditional methods

The ultimate meat guide to gammon

By LLM Reporters on 2nd February 2019

Knowing where your food comes from helps to distinguish the quality of meat. Each cut serves a different purpose and has different tastes, such as a horseshoe gammon, a popular cut, also known as Christmas ham from the middle of a pigs’ hind leg. The experts at Wiltshire Bacon Company have attracted the best chefs (in restaurants and homes alike) with their mouthwatering pork dishes and now are spilling their secrets on what to expect and look out for with gammon.

Preparation and the cure

Preparation is key! Unlike most ham, but like bacon, gammon must be cooked before eating. The Wiltshire Bacon Company focuses on the natural ways of cooking, such as smoking the pork. However, combined with some natural marbling, cuts can be unsmoked or cured by either dry or wet cure. Dry cure is when a mixture of salt and sugar is rubbed into the meat and produces a drier finish, and fuller, more pronounced sweet flavor, whereas wet cure is when the meat is immersed in a brine, which penetrates the meat faster than dry cure. Picking the right preparation method will go a long way in deciding how to cook the pork, whether you want to roast or boil it.

Bone-in gammon takes longer to cook and is more difficult to carve. They are usually cheaper by the kilogram, whereas bone-out gammons have been cut off the bone, rolled, tied with a string of netting and can be carved like a loaf.

Raw gammon steak on black stone background.
Knowing where your food comes from helps to distinguish the quality of meat

Cooking

The two main ways to cook gammon is to boil or roast. Boiling requires a large pot, which can be advantageous if you are cooking a Christmas dinner and are limited on oven space. Place the gammon in a large pot, cover with fresh water, add carrots, onion, peppercorns and other ingredients you desire, and let it simmer. Be sure to leave it cool in the water.

Roasting can be done in an oven or on fire. Place the gammon in a large roasting tray and cover with foil. 30 minutes before the meat is done, take it out of the oven, remove any excess fat and score lightly with a knife to make a diamond pattern, then slather it in a glaze. Glazes can come in all sorts of flavors, such as apricot jam or honey.

Inserting a knife and checking to see if the meat is tender is a good way to tell if the meat is finished cooking. If it has a springy feel, it might need another 15 minutes or so.

Varieties

Much like any meat, there are different varieties of horseshoe gammon. Depending on your preferences, you could choose a gammon steak, which can either be cut into a round ‘horseshoe’ or into a half moon shape, a smoked or unsmoked horseshoe gammon joint or a whole horseshoe gammon, smoked or unsmoked. The horseshoe gammon joint makes for an epic carving centerpiece, perfect for occasions and holidays.

Size and quantity

In terms of size, the gammon, which is the hind leg of a pig can be very large, therefore it is often split into sections. Each quantity will determine the serving size, such as a horseshoe gammon joint can weigh up to 4.25kgs, which can serve up to 15 people, while the 1.5kg is suitable for 6 people. This makes it a great meal to consider, regardless of how many people you’re expecting for dinner. In this case, be sure to choose a size of cut that will accommodate your needs, and if you’re ordering from a restaurant or Wiltshire Bacon Company, it’s best to let them know your preferred amount.

Sliced smoked gammon on a wooden  table with addition of fresh  herbs and aromatic spices, top view. Natural product from organic farm, produced by traditional methods
Unlike most ham, but like bacon, gammon must be cooked before eating

The prices

As far as price for quality meat, Wiltshire Bacon Company enables all interested persons to get what they need. Prices range from £15-43 for different varieties and size of cuts, therefore making it a great affordable dinner option that can feed the whole family, and the neighbours. All prices are also inclusive of Wiltshire Bacon’s famous relishes, such as the balsamic onion relish, perfect for a gammon steak.

Online booking and deliveries

If you’re pressed for time or just want some assistance, order a cut of quality meat online and have it delivered to your door without the hassle of finding a butcher. You can also find recipes to help you get the most out of your cut, whether it be a savory or sweet glazed horseshoe gammon. Have peace of mind knowing that your cut is sourced from 100% British pigs living in an outdoor environment and fed only the highest quality products to ensure a great tasting meal.