There is actually so much flavor in the gammon fat that is cut off and because we are a waste not family, with both a dad and a husband who love crackling there had to be a way to use it.
I was born and raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere somewhere in South Africa. I saw loads of cuts of various types of meats come onto our kitchen table. Our family centerpiece, the kitchen table. Also the place where my mother prepared the cuts for cleaning, cutting and cooking. The fat had to be retained because my dad would rather be seen braaing it over hot coals before it was thrown out!
Even though now we don’t eat half the amount of meat we still religiously do a Gammon without fail as our Christmas table centerpiece. Hopefully I can share some ways in which to cook an easy gammon and how to use the rind of the gammon.
This rind and netting were not cooked in the image below this was purely for my post on An Easy Step by Step Gammon Roast With A Red Wine Sauce.
How I have used the rind over the past years:
Cooking the Gammon with the Rind On?
Yes. Been there done that. I have left it on before and yes it burnt. But it made the gammon a lot more juicier and full of flavor.
Cutting the Rind off but Covering the Gammon while Cooking It?
Done that too. It acts like a piece of foil and keeps the gammon nice and succulent but it takes a bit longer to cook. Also you will have to remove it halfway through cooking it.
Making Crackling From the Rind?
Yes you can but read on…..
If you stick the rind in a pan and put it in the oven it is 100% going to burn! SO….
Stick your piece of rind into a deep fryer and make some crackling OR
Cut little cuts (score) in the skin and cover it in coarse salt.
Let it sit for a while 10 to 15 minutes or so.
Drizzle oil onto the salt and using your hands rub it into the cuts
Add more salt and leave it for another 5 minutes (while you try to decide what to do with your oily hands 🙂
Stick the fat in the oven on high and let it cook, crinkle, crack.
With a very sharp knife, cut it into squares before sticking it in the oven or deep frying it.
Even better, cut it into squares, put it in a container and use it for when you make a divine minestrone soup!