...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Food journal number 28: how not to do a Christmas ham

When we run out of lunch ideas at this time of the year, the answer is simple: buy Christmas ham, have food for two straight weeks.

So, we did that and bought the smallest hunk of ham (2.5 kilos) at Willy:s.

The cured ham lasts incredibly long in the refrigerator (and takes a long time before you finally get tired of eating it), not to mention that it's also filling and cheap, which makes it a winner where we're concerned. Mustard glaze, brown Christmas bread (julvört) and some more strong mustard put the "dot on the I", as Swedes say, and make the perfect take-away-lunch of the season out of the good 'ole Christmas ham.

So I put an apron on and set myself to work. The ham was removed from its net, and on came the mustard glaze (senapsgriljering). I consulted several recipes before I decided that I would put another egg and more bread crumbs on this year's ham, plus a tad more french mustard than what was required. My glaze ended up with: 1 teaspoon strong Swedish mustard, 1 and a half tablespoons french dijon mustard, 2 eggs and 1 and a half deciliters of crumbs. This goes on the ham, which is grilled quickly at 200 C for 15 minutes. Not bad. In fact, it tasted good.

The problem occurred to me when I was finally serving the ham on bread, or indeed, when I was already biting into my sandwich. I realized: I forgot to remove the skin!!! I had slathered the glaze on an inch-thick layer of pink and translucent pork skin, which wasn't exactly getting smaller as I chewed. Yikes!

Well, it was no use crying over spilled egg, mustard and bread crumbs. I had to shave off the skin with a knife, which meant that the glaze I made had to go. On came a new layer of mustard glaze (which I did to the specifications above; I like it better than last year's because it sticks well to the ham and it's rather thick and flavorful). Thankfully I didn't have to remove this layer a second time.

Lesson learned and Christmas ham saved!


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