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Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Smoked Gammon

    Can I use a piece of smoked gammon, rather than unsmoked, in Nigella's Ham in Coca-Cola recipe?

    From the nigella team:

    Gammon is a cured but uncooked ham - it becomes a ham, also known as a gammon ham, once it is cooked. After curing the gammon can be smoked, either over wood chips or using liquid smoke. For Nigella's Ham in Coca Cola (from Nigella Bites and see related recipe link) there isn't any particular reason why the gammon shouldn't be smoked if that is what you prefer. However we would aim for a mild smoke rather than maybe a heavily smoked artisnal gammon.

    The recipe suggests saving the cooking liquid. This can be used as the base for a black bean soup, maybe with some leftover ham shredded into it.

    If you are not sure how strongly cured and smoked your gammon is then cut a small piece off and fry it in a pan with a little oil until cooked, cool and taste. If it is too strong then soak the gammon in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. You will need to keep the gammon in the fridge during the soaking.

    In the US it is quite difficult to buy uncooked hams. If you can only find cooked hams then make sure that you buy one which is not spiral cut. Heat the ham following the supplier's instructions and adding 1/2-1 cup cola to the roasting pan that you have put the ham into. Baste the ham with this liquid every 30 minutes or so while the ham is reheating. You can follow the glazing instructions from the recipe to finish the ham.

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