Being thrifty with a gammon joint

A while ago I realised buying slices of ham for my lunchtime sandwiches was getting pretty expensive. And this is especially the case if you don’t want watered down mashed up wafer thin slices of non-descript pinkish protein. So I started boiling gammon joints in order to make my own sliced ham.

Priced in the region of £4 for about 500g in my local butchers, it definitely saves a few of quid. The other added bonus with boiling your own ham is you get to experiment with flavours. I’ve experimented with a few flavour combinations that work with the ham: Coca Cola and a couple of cloves, cardamom and a chilli, and a couple of spoonfuls of my homemade marmalade (I wouldn’t recommend all of these together).

This selection of recipes uses a gammon joint plus some other ingredients to make two dinners for two and a couple of tasty wraps for lunch.

Meal 1 - Roast beetroot, pearl barley and sliced ham

Put the oven on at 190 degrees C

Ingredients for the saucepan
500g gammon joint, 120g pearl barley, 1 diced onion and carrot, 2 beetroot, 8 crushed juniper berries, pepper and a knob of butter.

  • Chuck all of the above ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for one and a quarter hours.
  • Take 3 similarly sized beetroot, put them in a tin foil parcel with a bit of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper. Seal the tin foil parcel and place them in the oven. The beetroot will be ready in just over an hour.
  • You will also need some extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and some mustard.

To serve

  • Take the beetroot out of the oven and open up the parcel. Allow them to cool for five minutes. Using a piece of kitchen role to stop you burning your fingers, peel the outer skin off.
  • Take three to four teaspoons of the ham stock, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a small splash of white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of mustard. Whisk until they have all combined. This vinaigrette is perfect for pouring over the dish.
  • For plating up, put a few slices of ham, some slices of beetroot, the barley risotto and some mixed leaves on the plate. Drizzle over some of the vinaigrette.
  • Save the stock to use later.


The key thing for taking a wrap to work is to spread butter or margarine on the wrap before you add any of the items, this stops the wrap from going soggy. For these wraps I used some mixed leaves (from the same bag as the previous evening), some thinly sliced ham, mayonnaise and the key ingredient some cracked black pepper.

Meal 2 – Ham and tomato pasta

The left over ham, 1 onion, 1/2 leek, mushrooms, 2 cloves garlic, tinned tomatoes, 100 ml of the ham stock, 1 tsp mustard, splash of double cream and enough whole wheat spaghetti for two people. Plus some chopped fresh basil and some grated cheese of your choice (I used a hard goats cheese).

  • Sweat down the onion, leek and garlic. After about 5 minutes, add the tin of tomatoes and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes.
  • Pop the pasta on, whole wheat pasta normally takes about 10 minutes, but check your instructions.
  • Slice the rest of the ham into cubes and fry off in a splash of oil. Once some crispy bits have formed add this to the simmering sauce, leave the lid off at this point.
  • Chop the mushrooms and fry them off in the same pan as the ham. Once they have browned add them to the sauce.
  • To finish off the sauce add the mushrooms, mustard, cream and season to taste.
  • Once the pasta is cooked stir into the sauce and serve with some chopped basil and grated cheese.

If you like this recipe, why not check out other richinflavour recipes