Friday, 11 May 2012

Gammon & Pineapple Revisited (Maple glazed gammon with chilli pineapple salsa and crunchy potatoes)

I had the misfortune of first discovering food in the glorious 70's. Going out for dinner with my folks in those days often led me to such emporiums as The Berni Inn, The Aberdeen Angus Steak House and various Beefeater restaurants. The menus were exactly the same and the quality equally as bad. Nevertheless, one of my favourite dishes was Gammon Steak. It was always served with saute potatoes, tinned rings of pineapple, a few bland button mushrooms, half a grilled tomato and the ever present sprig of curly parsley.

There are still numerous (too many in fact) places where I could take a trip down memory lane and get a greasy plate of gammon. Instead, I would like to share a modern day version courtesy of Jo Pratt's excellent book.  It's very simple and satisfies the taste buds on all counts; salty, sweet, spicy and sour. For 2, the cost equates to approx £3.50 per head.

Ingredients : 500g new potatoes, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 gammon steaks (sweet cure), knob of butter, seasoning, 1/2 red chili deseeded and finely chopped, 4 finely chopped spring onions, 1/2 small pineapple cut into small cubes, tsp rice vinegar, handful of chopped coriander, 1 tbsp maple syrup

1. Pre heat oven to 200c / gm 6
2. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes in salty water. Drain and pour into a roasting dish. Using a masher, gently crush each potato, some more than others. This will produce a combo of different textures of crispyness. Drizzle with 2tbsp of the oil, season and toss. Roast in over for approx 45 mins.
3. Ten minutes before potatoes are ready, heat a frying pan with 1/2 tbsp of oil. Season the gammon with pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
4. In the meantime, in another pan heat the remaining oil with the butter. Add the chilli and spring onions and cook for a minute. Add the pineapple and rice vinegar and cook for a further couple of minutes. Finally, mix in the coriander.
5. Just before the gammon is cooked, pour in the maple syrup and turn the steaks over a few times until they are coated with a sticky glaze.
6. Serve the gammon with the sauce poured over the top. Plate up with the salsa and potatoes.

As for an accompanying wine, anything except Liebfraumilch !!!

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