Instead of the usual recipe I decided to use a Barbeque Korean Beef Rib recipe and I cooked it in the pressure cooker. What a success!

The Korean flavours worked so well with the smoked meat and cooking in the pressure cooker was the ultimate time saver.

In bygone days

I recall my mother and grandmother soaking the gammon in regularly ‘refreshed’ water for at least two days prior to cooking. And then the cooking seemed to be an endless boil!

Please use the modern methods

These days gammons are prepared with a lighter brine. The salt levels are merely there for flavour and not as a means of preserving as they were originally intended decades ago. Soaking is no longer required and the cooking time can be reduced by using modern methods. Oven baking, with plenty of liquid, takes preference over boiling to retain moisture and flavour.

I still own an “ordinary” electric pressure cooker. However the ‘Instapot’ remains right at the top of my ‘must have’ list! My pressure cooker works overtime in the winter for soups and anything stewed. Who has the time & patience to endless hours in the kitchen? Hence the cooking of the gammon in about 30 minutes….. fantastic!

Don’t despair, I have added an oven bake method to the recipe, if you don’t have a pressure cooker or Instapot.

Now, let’s look at the flavours. When I prepared Korean Beef Short Ribs I found the flavours a little too sweet and immediately thought that they would be better suited to smoked and salted meats.

The Korean marinade and cooking medium is based on Gochujang Paste.

Gochujang hails from Korea. It is a chilli-laced fermented glutinous rice and soybean paste. You’ll agree, the description sounds awful, but I assure you the complex flavours are delicious. It marries well with all meats, fish, poultry and vegetable dishes. The chilli varies depending on the brand, but it is usually well balanced with the umami background flavours of the paste.

I often used gochujang instead of miso paste, especially when I need a mild chilli kick.

Initially one had to travel to South East Asia to bring your stash of this delicious paste home, then the exclusive Asian food shops started stocking it, but luckily now many deli’s and some of our supermarkets have it.

The marinade as additional ingredients that are really pantry staples and because one needs moisture I added ginger beer. I used the sugar free one (so that I could consume the balance) but by all means use the one with sugar, if you prefer. It won’t affect the flavour at all.

I know that the traditional English Glazed Gammon studded with cloves, decorated with glazed pineapple and cherries looks very festive, but in our climate it has to be hidden under a fly screen and then we keep everyone waiting while it is carved!

Not very practical! I prefer to cook the gammon and carve it ahead of time, for everyone to help themselves.

Honestly, no one has ever complained that it is not glazed and covered in cloves!

And oh I might add, who likes the flavour of cloves? I don’t quite get that tradition….. ahhhh maybe the cloves were added to keep the flies away!

I use some of the cooking liquid of the gammon and reduce it to form a delicious sauce or glaze to drizzle over the gammon slices.

You may have quite a bit left over, use that lovely smoky, chilli, umami ‘stock’ as a base for a delicious chicken casserole next week!

Recipe: Korean Style Gammon