Roast gammon is a dish that is normally served on the Christmas table or during Boxing Day dinner. This is a holiday tradition, so it’s important to cook it perfectly for everyone to enjoy the meal. A perfectly cooked gammon must be succulent and is made with saline meat. It can even be served hot or cold – it’s still tasty. To ensure maximum enjoyment, you need to get the correct cooking temperature for this versatile meat.
In this guide, you will learn more about the proper way to roast gammon so that you can have the best meal for the entire family to share.
What is a Gammon?
A gammon is a type of pork cut that is taken from the hind leg. The term refers to both the type of cut and the process that the meat went through. This cut refers to one side of the pig that includes the leg, which is also used for making bacon. This cut of meat is cured.
Gammon is derived from the same area where ham would normally be taken from. Therefore, many would refer to gammon simply as “ham”. But this is actually a misnomer since it isn’t cured the way a ham is, the curing process is more similar to that of bacon. Gammon is milder, flavor-wise, compared to ham, but is a bit more pronounced than bacon. Unlike brine-cured ham in North America, it is not as salty.
The gammon that you can find in the market could either be smoked or not. It can also be sold in slices or as a whole part of the meat (weighing up to 4 kg each).
Even though it is mildly cured, gammon still requires cooking. Some would boil the whole joint.
What is the Temperature of Properly Cooked Gammon?
When it comes to cooking with meat, getting the temperature right on the cook is vital to achieving the best texture and flavor. The ideal temperature for a properly cooked gammon is 155℉(68℃) when it is measured at the center. When you turn the oven off, the meat will continue to cook with its internal heat. The meat of the gammon will be able to reach up to 160℉(71℃) in temperature.
Slow cooking in the oven is the best way to cook gammon. This will ensure that you can get tender meat. At the same time, it ensures that the meat is cooked all the way through once it reaches the ideal temperature for cooked gammon.
If this is your first time cooking gammon at home? You can perform a test to make sure that it is cooked. Use a knife to insert into the meat. You can tell if it is cooked if the meat is tender. If the knife springs back when you attempt to insert it, then you need to cook it for another 15 minutes before doing another test.
Another way to ensure it’s ready to serve is to use a meat thermometer. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If the meat is boiled before roasting, you should aim for a temperature reading of 140℉(60℃). If the meat is uncooked prior to roasting in the oven, you need to have at least 160℉(71℃) on the thermometer reading.
Is There a Risk if Gammon is Undercooked?
There are certain types of meats such as chicken and turkey that need to be thoroughly cooked for it to be safe to consume. The same goes with gammon, which is a type of pork meat. There are many foodborne illnesses out there and many of them can come from animal meat.
The biggest risk of consuming uncooked or raw pork meat is trichinellosis. This is a type of infection that can lead to a wide range of symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.
This is why you need to make sure that the meat is cooked perfectly. Always check the temperature of the meat to ensure it’s sufficiently cooked. It is crucial not only to ensure that the meat is flavorful and juicy, but that it is safe to eat.
Is it Bad to Overcook Gammon?
Undercooking gammon entails certain risks, especially for your health, aside from the meat not being enjoyable enough. If you buy gammon that is pre-cooked or already boiled, there is a tendency to overcook it at home. When overcooked, the meat can become dry and rubbery.
Make sure to constantly check the meat’s temperature using a meat thermometer. This is the easiest way to ensure that your meat is done and to know when to take it off the oven.
Cooking Tips for Gammon
Knowing the optimum temperature of cooked gammon, the next step is to know how to prepare it for your family to enjoy at your dinner table. You may or may not need to soak the gammon before cooking, so make sure to check the pack so you know how salty it is.
Before you cook, always weigh the meat so you can estimate the cooking time. Ideally, you need 20 minutes of cooking time per 450 grams and then add another 20 minutes.
Place the meat in a large pan and then add cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then season it however you like. Once you are halfway into the calculated cooking time, skim the water of any white froth that rises to the surface. Drain the water and let the meat cool a little.
Line another roasting tin with foil and then add the meat into the pan before covering the top with a lid or more foil. Bake it for the remaining cooking time. About 30 minutes towards the end of the cooking time, you can brush the meat with your choice of glaze. You may also remove the foil covering on the meat at this point.