This dish has been in my mind for ages. I was almost craving it even though I'd never tried it before.
Boiled gammon is a delight, one that I think is too frequently overlooked in favour of its roast sibling. I love how juicy it remains and the way it breaks down along the muscle striations. Add to that the melt in the mouth fat and skin and one shouldn't miss the drier roast version at all. The pease pudding was an unknown entity though, but split pease cooked in gammon stock had to be good.Back when I was a child 'Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot 9 days old' was known to everyone but having mentioned it to my 16 year old brother the nursery rhyme seems to have disappeared as much as the dish has. He now knows them both though and the pease pudding got a thumbs up from him. I was a fan too, the blandness of the pea is lifted by the stock and onion and the final seasoning with black pepper added welcome spice. Rumour has it you can fry up any leftovers but alas none managed to survive our meal. Next time I'll make more so I can see if this tastes as good as it sounds.
This recipe serves 4 with lots of gammon leftover. You can use this and some of the stock to make a pea and ham soup, if not it's obviously a fine sandwich filling.
Boiled Gammon with Pease Pudding
1.6kg joint of gammon
1 onion, halved and peeled
4 sticks of celery, cut into quarter lengths
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
A few black peppercorns
250gr split yellow peas, soaked overnight
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A small bunch of herbs - thyme, rosemary, bay - or 1/2 ts of dried mixed herbs
25gr of butter
Cover the gammon with cold water and bring to the boil. Remove the gamon and discard the water. This gets rid of excess salt as well as any scum from the joint.
Mix the peas, onion, garlic and herbs and wrap into a muslin parcel, twisting and tying securely.
Place the gammon back into the stock pot, add the veg, bay, peppercorns and muslin parcel then cover with water.
Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours before removing the pease pudding and the gammon. The veg can be discarded and the stock saved for a pea and ham soup.
To finish the pease pudding scrape it from from the muslin, remove the sprigs of herb and place into a bowl then mash with the butter. Add lots of black pepper and salt to taste.
Slice the gammon quite thickly and serve with the pease pudding and some English mustard. Winter greens like kale make a nice accompaniment.