In this recipe 'the flavour of of the sweet, spiky drink infuses the ham with spirit of barbecue without being in any way overpowering' - and it also tenderises the ham amazingly well. Just think about cleaning pennies in a glass of the stuff!
I confess that, the first time I cooked this, I did so wondering if I was about to ruin a perfectly decent ham - but I think that Nigella Lawson (who incidentally now drives me crazy four years down the line - she's so affected and OTT it's untrue!) did come up trumps and I've used this way of cooking ham ever since!
I was speaking to Len's sister-in-law yesterday afternoon and conversation got round to Nigella. That gal (SIL) has the perfect solution - she apparently watches Nigella's cookery programmes with the sound muted and the sub-titles across the bottom of the screen - nice one Maureen! Anyhow, here's the recipe folks - and I do know that some of you already saw this four years ago:
Ham in Coca-Cola
2kg mild-cure gammon
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola - it must be normal and NOT Diet Coca-Cola
Mild-cure gammon doesn't need soaking, but if you know that you're dealing with a salty piece, then put it in a pan covered with cold water, bring to the boil, then tip into a colander in the sink and start from here; otherwise, put the gammon in a pan, skin-side down if it fits like that, add the onion, then pour over the Coke. I use a large stainless steel stockpot for this.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, put the lid on, though not tightly, and cook for approximately 2½ hours. If your joint is larger or smaller, work out timing by reckoning on an hour per kilo. But do take into account that if the gammon's been in the fridge right up to the moment you cook it, you will have to give it a good 15 minutes or so extra so that the inside is properly cooked.
I don't go to the time and trouble of glazing the ham (it never lasts long enough here), neither does Nigella most of the time. There are lots of different ways to do this of course, but this ham stands proudly on its own without any more fiddling around.
Just remember that it MUST be the non-diet Coca-Cola. And, you will use all of a 2 litre bottle for a 2kg piece of ham. Not even enough will be left to pour yourself a nice vodka and coke :)
I'm hoping to be able to get to Sainsbury's to choose a ham joint (don't trust on line shopping THAT much!) and pick up a 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola some time over the festivities. A little goal to aim for :) If I don't manage then I hope you'll think about trying this for yourselves anyhow! :)