This recipe is a slow burner, ideal for festive occasions like Christmas or a winter dinner party.

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus overnight soaking

Cooking time: 2-2¼ hours

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1.8kg boned, rolled foreleg of bacon
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • bouquet garni
  • 50–75g demerara sugar
  • 150ml medium dry cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • 4 peaches
  • 75g butter
  • 40g honey or dark brown sugar
  • a pinch cinnamon

Recipe method

1. Soak the bacon in cold water overnight. The next day, put the bacon joint in a large pan with sufficient cold water to cover it completely. Add the peppercorns, cloves and bouquet garni. Bring the water to the boil over moderate heat, remove any scum from the surface, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat, and simmer the bacon joint for 1¼ hours.

2. Lift the meat from the pan, leave it to cool and firm up, then remove all the string. Cut away the rind from the joint with a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern, at 1cm (½in) intervals, and press the demerara sugar firmly all over the fat.

3. Put the joint in a roasting tin, heat the cider or apple juice and pour it over the meat.

4. Skin the peaches, cut them in half and remove the stones, then enlarge the cavities slightly with a pointed teaspoon. Soften the butter and mix it with the honey or dark brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon until creamy. Spoon this mixture into the peach halves.

5. Bake the joint in a preheated oven at 180°C (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes, basting frequently with the pan juices.

6. Place the peaches around the joint, raise the oven temperature to 200°C (gas mark 6) and bake the joint for 15 minutes more, or until the top of the joint is golden and shiny.

7. Serve the bacon joint whole or sliced, garnished with the peach halves.

Related Posts