Food and drink

Pan fried gammon with cider sauce


It’s Friday night and due to a snap decision at lunchtime (my girlfriend was going to the supermarket and asked what I wanted for tea tonight) we’re having gammon. All morning I’d been thinking about pizza but decided to put that off until later in the weekend, especially as we’re going out for dinner tomorrow and pizza is a distinct possibility then. So the next thing that popped into my head was a memory of something I saw while flicking through a recipe book.

When I first started cooking a few years ago I didn’t really know anything and I needed help. So I picked up a small recipe book full of dishes using 3 or 4 ingredients. It was perfect for building confidence and getting some ideas, but these days I don’t pick it up very often. Most of the recipes are very basic and seem to be lacking something by the time you taste them. However I did pick it up a few weeks when I was bored and fancied flicking through my recipe books to get some new ideas. One of the recipes that stuck in my head was gammon steaks with cider. As I said, the recipes in this book are pretty basic and it essentially says fry the steaks for 3 minutes each side, pour in the cider (with the steaks still in the pan), boil for 2 minutes then stir in the cream. It’s simple stuff, but it was a good idea.

So I used the idea but changed the method slightly. Instead of leaving the steaks in I took them out to rest while getting the sauce started, that way you can add the resting juice into the gravy for more flavour. The pan gets properly deglazed as well so all the flavour goes into the sauce and I also added some sage as it goes great with pork. A little bit of mustard wouldn’t go amiss if you fancied it as well.

Served with my usual creamy mash (you can find the recipe for this on the mince and skirlie entry) and some rosemary roast carrots. I would say you should also drink the rest of the cider while you eat it but I imagine, like me, you’ll drink that during the cooking process. This is delicious and the sauce was a total star, definitely one that I’ll be making again. Would go just as well with pork chops as it does with gammon.

Serves 2

2 gammon steaks
Bottle of good quality cider
Cream
Sage
Butter

Heat a large frying pan and fry the steaks in a little oil for a few minutes.
Season, turn them over and add a large knob of butter into the pan.
As they’re cooking spoon the hot juices from the steaks and butter over the top of them to baste.
Once the steaks are ready take them out of the pan and put them on a plate then leave them somewhere warm while you start the sauce.
Skim off most of the fat, turn up the heat and pour half the bottle of cider in (assuming you’re not using a 2 litre bottle of Diamond White!) to deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan as it boils.
Throw in some chopped sage, season and let it boil down for a few minutes.
Pour the juices from the rested steaks into the pan along with some of the cream and stir. Once it’s reduced to a thick gravy take it off the heat and pour over the steaks.
Serve with creamy mash and rosemary roast carrots (chop into thick chunks, par boil, toss in olive oil and rosemary and roast for 30-40 minutes).

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