Occasionally at home we buy a big joint of pork when we fancy it. Buying a joint of ham is cost effective and i find a lot nicer than packet ham. This would last us for just over a week. We add the the ham to salads, sandwiches, sauces and even.. you guessed it! An old favourite Ham egg and chips!
To cook the ham
Normally when you buy any type of a joint of meat the label will have some kind of cooking guidelines, which will give you an idea of time and temp depending on its weight. To cook the pork i place the meat in a deep heavy duty pan and fill with boiling water. Make sure the water is at least 2 inches above the meat. Put the hob on a medium heat and bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour and a half. Remember to skim the top off the water for any foamy impurities. Once the ham is cooked remove from the pan and leave to rest with a foil blanket.
Tip: Don’t add any extra salt!
For the soup
Pour away at least a quarter of the stock. Add one chopped onion to the salty stock and leave to boil for 5 mins. Then add the frozen peas. Boil for a further 6 mins. The ratio between Peas and Water should be Pea 3/4, Water 1/4. When the time is up blend the mixture till smooth and silky. Crumble over some cooked ham and a twist of black pepper. There you have it! Ham & Pea Soup!
Frozen Peas 500g (Roughly)
Bacon Joint 1kg (Roughly)
Black Pepper to season
For me Croque Monsieur is a posh version of cheese on toast. If your fed up if the average cheese on toast and want to spice things up literally then this is a perfect easy dish for you to try.
The classic Croque Monsieur consists of:
2 Slices of Bread
80g Gruyere Cheese
2 tsp of Dijon Mustard
2 Slices of Ham
30g Unsalted Butter
The original recipe is absolutely delicious. To make, spread the mustard on one slice of the bread then fill with the cheese and the ham. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Heat the frying pan with the butter, melt until it starts to bubble. Add the sandwich to the pan and fry on either side until golden brown on each side. Once golden brown, transfer from the pan to the oven until the cheese has melted. Cut in half and enjoy a french beauty.
If you don’t have Gruyere Cheese or an easier option.
2 Slices of Bread (i prefer thick white)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 Slices of Ham
80g Cheddar Cheese
A spread of butter on each slice
The classic Croque Monsieur dish in my opinion is faultless and is why it is a classic. But if you want a less time consuming recipe, don’t have the right cheese or simply don’t want to wash up the pan, here is an alternative easy recipe.
Add both slices of bread to the toaster, cook until golden. Spread the butter on one side on each slice, then the mustard. Top with the ham and the cheese and transfer to the grill. Once the cheese has melted, slice and enjoy!
(TIP: I tend to eat them as open sandwiches as they can be dry)