Roast gammon is traditionally served for Boxing Day dinner in the UK but is delicious all year round. It's a rich and generous joint of meat that can be eaten hot or cold.
Just as perfect paired with roast potatoes and gravy as it is stuffed into a sandwich or mixed into a summer salad, a joint of gammon – or ham as it’s called once it’s cooked – is simple to prepare.
Whether you’re roasting gammon in the oven or using a slow cooker, our expert guide covers everything from how long to cook your gammon to how much ham you’ll need per person.
Not necessarily. However, boiling it first is much quicker and ensures the meat stays moist. But if you prefer not to boil your gammon or you don’t have a big enough pan, you can just use the oven.
You will need to soak the gammon for around 12-48 hours to remove the excess salt before roasting. You don’t need to do this if you’re boiling a gammon.
The cooking times will also be longer – it’s approximately 30 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 30 minutes.
Once you know the weight of your gammon joint, you can work out roughly how long it will take to cook. The total cooking times for a joint of boneless gammon – boiling and roasting – are as follows:
If you prefer it roasted in the oven only, you can alter the cooking times to 30 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 30 minutes.
Make sure you also check the cooking times listed on the packaging, or ask the butcher if you’re not buying from a supermarket.
Cooking times can also vary depending on how well your oven sticks to its temperature. When we've tested ovens, we've found that some overheat by 30ºC more than the temperature you set on the dial – enough to turn a perfectly tender joint of ham into a chargrilled mess.
If you’re trying to calculate how much gammon you’ll need to cook, a good rule of thumb is approximately 200g per person for a boneless joint. The list below will give you an idea of roughly what weight of gammon you'll need to feed everyone around your dinner table.
There are lots of different ingredients you can use in a glaze, but a good rule of thumb is to include a combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavours. For example:
A classic combination is honey and mustard, but you can experiment to find your favourite.
Simply stir the ingredients together and brush onto your gammon. If you prefer a thicker glaze, you can also boil it before adding it to your meat.
Leftover cranberry sauce or stuffing from Christmas Day can also be served up with your ham, and for the ultimate Boxing Day sandwich you can add these and some leftover cheese, such as brie, to your ham slices to make a truly indulgent snack.
Instead of gravy, parsley sauce is a good pairing with a gammon joint and a nice change after a Christmas Day turkey.
Coined as the 'perfect festive centrepiece', Jamie's is a great alternative to your traditional Christmas turkey. It's made with a mix of orange marmalade, pineapple, festive spices and, of course, wine.
Instead of water, Nigella boils her gammon in Coke before drizzling it with treacle and roasting it.
Delia's gammon recipe features just a handful of ingredients, and requires you to create a parcel for your gammon to cook in.
Leftover ham is a great sandwich filler, and you can also have leftovers in gravy or parsley sauce with fried-up veg (bubble and squeak). You could use it in a pie along with some leftover turkey and perhaps some leeks and carrots.
Yes, gammon (cooked and raw) can be frozen for up to four months in an air-tight container or bag.
Make sure the ham cools completely before freezing, and once it's defrosted only reheat it once.
You should also bear in mind that a whole joint will take a while to thaw - you should allow at least 36 hours for it to fully defrost in the fridge.