Sunday, 25 March 2012

Baked ham with parsley sauce

I vividly remember the first time I ever tasted ham with parsley sauce, it was with my Grandparents!   Neither of my parents like parsley sauce so  I had never heard of it before.  Then one day I was in my Grandparents’ house and she dished this up.  One taste and I was lost!  Every time I make it now it reminds me of those lovely days with my Grandparents. 

I bought a small uncooked bacon (ham) joint, about 2¼ lbs in weight.  I soaked the joint overnight in a bowl of water to remove any saltiness from the preserving. 

When you are ready to cook the joint simply pop it into a roasting tin, cover with foil and bake in a low oven.  I cooked mine at 150oC (300oF/gas mark 2) for 2½ hours. 

The parsley sauce method I use is an all-in-one method that saves a lot of faff and lumps!   I have a really handy small whisk that makes light work of sauces. 

For the parsley sauce : 

1tb plain flour
1 generous tsp butter
½ pint of cold milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2tb chopped curly parsley 

My handy little whisk
Simply place the flour, butter and milk together in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring from time to time.  As it begins to simmer stir constantly to stop any lumps from forming (if any do form just beat them out with a small whisk).  Stir the sauce as it thickens and turn the heat right down.  The sauce will need to cook for at least 5 minutes, and preferably longer to cook out the flour.  Season to taste and add the parsley for the last few minutes to flavour the sauce. 

I always like this best with boiled potatoes and broad beans (fava beans).  Sadly, broad weren’t available this week so I had frozen peas instead! 

From my Grandmother’s kitchen to yours – I hope you enjoy this little taste of Wales!

Any leftover sauce can be frozen and would be really lovely served over some poached fish.

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