This is very first classic which I learnt few year ago. I still follow this recipe as it is simple and the result is a lovely moist ham. And later on you can use ham and stock in so many ways… cold ham in sandwiches, salads, omelettes and stock makes base for delicious soups of course.
piece of gammon joint (smoked or unsmoked. Soaked to reduce salt if necessary)
2 small bay leaves
whole onion, peeled
6-8 whole cloves
2 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 black peppercorns
1 red chilli
Place neatly tied gammon in large pan and add onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and chilli. Add enough water to cover all. Slowly bring to the boil, skimming any foam that forms on top. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for an hour and a half or more depending on size of the joint. But do not overcook it as meat will get tough and dry. Cover partially with a lid. When cooked remove from pan and allow to cool slightly before carving. Carve in thin slices and serve hot with parsley sauce, roast potatoes, fine green beans, small chantenay carrots and English mustard.