Another Sunday, another roast. Every now and then I crave pork belly. I just do. This was one of those days. Lucky for me, Jamie Oliver came to the rescue with a great cider-braised pork belly recipe with cider mustard sauce.
So apparently, the difference between gammon and ham is that gammon is cured as part of a side of bacon (and then smoked or not) and ham is removed from the carcass and smoked or dried. I have never heard the term ‘gammon’ in the US, but I guess it must exist. Here in the UK we quite often buy small gammon joints and roast them in the oven, covered at first and then uncovered to brown the fat. It’s pretty standard fare, but it’s always tasty. This ham was different. I wanted to cook it differently, flavor it differently, do something so that it would be a bit more special. A bit of a treat. Enter the barbecue.
Another Sunday, another roast. We hadn’t planned ahead for this one, so the options were limited to the supermarket offerings. As we browsed the meat aisle the leg of lamb bleated longingly at me, but our wallets insisted we have chicken – although with Easter just around the corner and a beautiful lamb post on Cooking in Sens which definitely got the roasting juices flowing, lamb may be on the menu yet!
Some of our close friends had family visiting from Poland last week and, as ever, I looked at that as the opportunity for a dinner party. Dinner parties seem to have this stigma, this pretentious air about them which puts people off. In our house they are simply an excuse to have good friends over, drink lots of wine and, of course, for me to get in the kitchen and cook up a three course meal.
Sunday roasts are something which I haven’t quite come to grips with. As an American, it’s not something I grew up with, so the idea was a bit foreign to me from the start. I love roasted meat, but I can’t say I was ever impressed with the bland steamed or boiled vegetables that sit alongside it only to be drowned in gravy which is quite often made from granules. Plus, who needs cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls (really?) and roast potatoes – and they say Americans serve up big portions! I love vegetables, but I don’t need the whole allotment on my plate.