Thursday, March 16, 2006

Salt, Salt, Salt

304. Ham cooked in cider with leeks, carrots and potatoes (Weekend Lunch)
305. Yoghurt, honey, passion fruit and cream (Weekend Lunch)

I have recently discovered that you can buy pickled pork at Box Hill! I can't believe I never noticed it before. Last time I made a ham, I went out all the way to Blackburn to get the meat. Box Hill is much closer, and is the place I always do my grocery shopping. But it was only last week that I noticed that Meat Inn had a huge sign, reading "PICKLED PORK $6.99 a kilo!" hanging near their store. Whoops!

Before cooking the ham, you have to remove the salt. I used Nigella's method of covering it in cold water, bringing it to the boil and then discarding the water. It worked for the ham in coke, so I thought it would work this time.

magnificent piece of meat

To make a ham in cider, you boil it in cider with some aromatic vegetables.


Towards the end of cooking time, you remove the vegetables and add new carrots and sliced leeks. And here is what it looks like once cooked.


I thought it looked quite impressive, all sliced up.

sliced - with locally produced "Henry of Harcourt" cider in the background

However, upon eating it, I realised that the de-salting method had been completely ineffective! The ham was still so salty, to the point of inedibility and we couldn't eat more than a slice. Gross.
Luckily, the dessert more than made up for it. This dessert is simply Greek yogurt, honey, passionfruit and cream layered in a glass. And it's delicious. We ate it with Hobnobs and Chocolate-coated teddy bear biscuits.



fooDcrazEE said...

hmm.....think you should have soaked themunder running tap water for at least 30 minutes to remove the excessive pork. That works for me but i'm not sure of the time frame per kg. Try it out the next time and do include Nigella's tips. Combined both should work wonderfully. At least cut a slice and try first...

Lisa said...

Well that must have been really disappointing! Your dessert does look wonderful, though, so good that the meal ended on a high note.

Ilana said...

aw, what a bummer, sweetie! well at least the ham didn't cost a thousand dollars and all that money went to waste... if you have time in your project i do hope you try again!
honey, i don't know what to do with ham either.. LOL. when they said pickled, they meant it, ey?

xoxo Ilana

Anonymous said...

My mother used to parboil salty ham for hours (at least 8 hrs.), to remove excess salt. Every hour, she would discard the water and replace it with fresh, completely covering the ham. I remember she used to do the parboiling the day before she planned to serve the ham and would soak it overnight in fresh water to finish. Then, she would prepare it with glaze, etc. and heated through in the oven. It worked, sort of, to remove a lot of the salt but not all of it.

By the way, the potatoe method has been disproven by the Food Network.

Another method to prepare the ham is to inject it with liquid hickory smoke and simple syrup. This helps with any flavor that may have been lost in the parboiling.

No guarantees on any of this.