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Ham Rind and Cooking Liquid

Asked by JasonStuart. Answered on 8th January 2015

Full question

Hi, I'm going to try the Ham In Coca Cola for the first time but I'm confused as what to do with the skin. It says to remove the skin then it says to put the black treacle over the bark-budded skin but doesn't say what to do with it afterwards? "Then remove the skin, leaving a thin layer of fat. Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes, and stud each diamond with a clove. Then carefully spread the treacle over the bark-budded skin, taking care not to dislodge the cloves" Sorry, just a little confused. Jason.

Can I freeze the coke liquid I cooked my ham in? I was thinking of using it for spare ribs. Any suggestions? Many thanks. Have a wonderful new year. Fluffycat1.

Our answer

When you buy a gammon ham it still has the thick rind or skin on it. Once the ham has been simmered (in cola or other liquids) then the skin tends to be rather leathery and unpalatable. So with all ham recipes the skin, and some of the fat, is removed before glazing and usually this is discarded. A thin layer of fat is left on the ham as this helps the glazing ingredients to stick to the ham and caramelize and crisp in the hot oven.

You could freeze the cola cooking liquid to use at a later date. Cool and chill first before putting into resealable containers and freezing for up to 3 months. You could skim off any fat on the surface before you freeze it. The liquid could be used for braising pork ribs, or Nigella likes to use it in a black bean soup (see South-Beach Black Bean Soup on p130 of Nigella Bites).

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