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How to boil gammon

Updated July 18, 2017

Boiled ham and parsley sauce, served with boiled new potatoes and salad, brings back memories of childhood and Sunday dinners with the family. The middle gammon joint, considered the best joint for boiling, normally weighs between 2 and 3 kilograms and provides the largest, neatest slices. It can be boiled on the bone or de-boned before boiling for reduced cooking time and easier carving. The joint can also be boiled ahead of time and roasted for approximately 30 minutes before serving.

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Boiling the Gammon

  1. Soak the gammon joint overnight in the stock pot filled with cold water to remove the excess salt, changing the water at least once. Drain well and wash the stock pot.

  2. Place the gammon and all of the ingredients, except the honey, mustard, and parsley sauce into the stock pot and fill it with enough fresh water to cover the joint. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Skim off any scum which rises to the surface.

  3. Once there is no more scum rising, cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for two hours, or 25 minutes for every 450g of gammon. The meat should give way to a skewer pushed into the middle of the joint and not feel rubbery.

  4. Once cooked, let the joint cool completely in the liquid. Remove the cooled joint from the pot and place it on a lightly oiled roasting tray. Remove the skin while leaving as much fat as possible and score the fat in a crisscross pattern.

  5. Mix the honey and mustard together and baste the fat. Place the joint in the oven at 220C/Gas Mark 7 and roast for 20 minutes, or until the fat becomes crisp and caramelised. Lightly cover the joint with cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with parsley sauce.

  6. Tip

    Any leftover boiling liquid, if not too salty, can be used as a stock to make ham and barley or ham and pea soup.


    Allow the joint and liquid sufficient time to cool before attempting to remove the joint to avoid burning yourself.

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Things You'll Need

  • Smoked Gammon Joint
  • Large Stock Pot
  • Roasting Pan
  • Water
  • 1 Onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, sliced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Roasting tray, lightly oiled
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Clingfilm
  • Parsley Sauce, homemade or prepared

About the Author

An American writer living in the United Kingdom, Christy Mitchinson began writing professionally in 2000, during her career in laboratory science, pathology and research. She has authored training materials, standard operating procedures and patient/clinician information leaflets. Mitchinson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing with The Open University.

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