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What Is The Best Way To Adapt The Ham In Coca Cola For A Different Size Ham?

Asked by eddy_. Answered on 17th December 2022

Full question

Hi, I'm asked to make Ham in Coca Cola for my family and friends this Christmas. However, the joints they've got are a 1kg gammon with bone still in, a 1kg pork knuckle, and a 750g gammon with really little rind/fat.

I read that it's usually an hour per kilo for boneless gammon; how shall I adjust the simmering time for my gammon with bone, please?

If I were to use the pork knuckle for this recipe, is it actually possible for me to cook it the same way as using a gammon with the bone still attached, please?

For the other gammon with only a little fat on, can I still do the glaze by scoring the meat to make diamond shapes, or is it not worth it, please?

We are going to a pantomime matinee so I want the ham to be ready 1 hour after we return. Should I precook and leave in the hot water (but off the heat) until I return then drain and put in oven or drain and leave wrapped in foil for 3 hours?

Sorry for asking so many questions in one post... Thank you in advance for your time!

Ham in Coca Cola
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Ham in Coca Cola
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Ham In Coca Cola (from NIGELLA BITES) is a perennial favourite. The recipe calls for a 2kg (4½-pound) gammon (a cured but uncooked ham). The gammon is simmered in coca cola until cooked through. A gammon with a bone in that is 1kg (2¼ pounds) in weight will probably take about an hour to cook (plus and extra 10-15 minutes if it is being cooked straight from the fridge). For this size of ham the bone should not make much difference to the cooking time. However, we would suggest using a digital probe thermometer to keep an eye on the ham and make sure that it is cooked properly. Insert the probe halfway into the fleshiest part of the ham and cook until the internal temperature reaches 71c/160F. Be careful that the probe isn't touching the bone, as this will affect the reading on the thermometer.

For the ham without rind you can simmer the gammon until cooked and then smear treacle over the top of the cooked ham, mix together the sugar and mustard powder and sprinke this onto the treacle before baking the ham. It forms a crust on the ham but just be aware that it can also give a thin crust of harder, dryer ham meat on the top of the ham (as there is no fat to protect the meat from the heat of the oven), so you may prefer to forego the glazing stage. For a pork knuckle, we have not cooked one ourselves in coca cola and it is not the same as a ham as it is not cured. Instead, we would suggest braising the knuckle in the oven as Nigella does in her recipe for Beer-Braised Pork Knuckle.

If you are cooking the ham in advance you need to remember that the ham should be eaten (or refrigerated) at the latest within 2 hours of cooking. If you want to make it and keep it warm we would suggest cooking the ham and then putting it into a small roasting pan and ladling some cooking liquid into the pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil, making sure the edges are sealed very tightly (you might want to use a double layer of foil). Leave the ham in an oven heated to 100c/80c Fan/225F while you are out. This should ensure that the temperature of the ham stays above 75c/165F and does not dry out too much. If you have a slow cooker you could transfer the ham and cooking liquid to the slow cooker and use the "keep warm" function to keep the ham warm while you are out, but we would suggest pre-warming the slow cooker pot so that the ham and liquid go into a warm pot and not a cold one.

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