Braising involves cooking large cuts or joints of meat slowly on a mirepoix (bed of diced veg), with stock, in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. This can also be cooked in a slow cooker.
- 1.5kg smoked gammon joint, soaked in cold water overnight
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- Knob of butter
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- Small handful fresh sage leaves, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
- 500ml semi-dry cider
- 400ml chicken stock, hot
- 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ tbsp black treacle
- 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Remove the gammon from the soaking water, put in a heavy-based casserole with a tight-fitting lid and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove the gammon and discard the water.
- 2. Add the oil to the clean pot with the onion, leek and celery. Cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add the butter and apple and cook for 5 minutes until lightly caramelised.
- 3. Return the gammon to the pot with the sage, cider and stock. Season with pepper and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid and oven-cook for 2½-3 hours until the meat is very tender.
- 4. Remove the gammon from the pot, remove and discard the skin, and keep warm. Put the pot over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the beans and treacle and simmer over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- 5. Roughly tear the meat into large pieces and return, with any juices, to the sauce. Serve immediately with steamed cabbage. Garnish with fried sage leaves, if you like.
Per serving: 709kcals, 25.4g fat (8.9g saturated), 72.2g protein, 46g carbs, 11.2g sugar, 5.4g salt
Braising is not stewing, which involves small pieces of meat in lots of liquid, or pot roasting, which uses no liquid and creates more of a roasted effect. To SLOW COOK this recipe in a slow cooker simmer the gammon in water as per the recipe then place in the slow cooker. Fry the onion, leek and celery until soft and spoon into the slow cooker with the pork. Add the remaining ingredients, cover with the lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove the skin from the pork and shred the meat into the sauce.
Cider is great with this. If you want wine, go for an off-dry, fruity white such as medium Vouvray or Riesling; both have appley hints.