This week, I do desperately miss Scotland.
I loved Scotland’s coldest winters with ankle deep snow and gothic architecture and the extinct volcano towering over it all. I miss feeling in tune with a place, feeling like a little bit of it was mine, feeling like I knew it.
On Thursday, the majority of Scotland’s population voted to Remain the EU. I have never been so proud nor ached so desperately for a nation. So, Scotland, my love, this one is for you. I’ve been meaning to write this recipe up for a while now, but this – in the midst of political turmoil across the UK – really felt like the right time.
So, this is Irn Bru gammon. I went through a real gammon phase, recently. There was always a hunk of meat on the boil, always a big chunk of pig in the fridge to pick at. It started with Nigella and her now infamous ham in cola, and progressed when I discovered Crumbs and Petals – a Scottish site which since seems to have fallen off the internet – and their recipe for Irn Bru gammon, which I’ve adapted a bit.
It’s perfect – sweet, salty and meaty – a loveletter to Scotland in the form of a bastardised Nigella recipe and a whole lot of Irn Bru. It is perfect for a celebration, too – a lovely centre piece at a party – or the perfect comforting commiseration meal if your country just threw itself down the pan. Scotland, I love you.
- 1 gammon joint
- 1 onion, cut into 8ths or very roughly chopped
- Zest of one orange
- Irn Bru (0.75 - 1 litre) plus some water
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsps English mustard
- Put the gammon in a pot, fat side down if you can. Pour in Irn Bru until it comes halfway up the gammon, then add water until the liquid covers the gammon. Throw in the orange zest and the onion. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and leave to cook for an hour per kilo (mine was 1.4 kilos, so took just less than 1hr 30) - you might need to add 20 mins if it's just out of the fridge.
- Half hour before it's done, preheat your oven to 240°C. While it's cooking, mix up the honey, mustard, and an extra tsp of irn bru into a wee bowl.
- Remove the gammon from the pot (can be tricky, I used some tongues and a flatmate to assist) and place on a baking tray, fat side up. Cut off the layer of fat, if there is one, and score a diamond pattern into the top. Pop cloves into the diamonds, and then smother it in the honey mustard glaze mix.
- Put in the oven and cook for about 20 mins, until the glaze has turned a bit golden. Eat in thick slices alongside a glass of Irn Bru.