Gammon with Tarragon Cream Sauce

The delicately flavoured sauce turns this simple boiled gammon into a superb dinner party dish. It is best to carve the gammon in the kitchen and serve the slices with the sauce. The rest of the gammon may be kept warm in the oven for second helpings. The gammon may be accompanied by boiled new potatoes and broccoli – and to drink, a well-chilled Moselle wine.x

4 lb. middle leg of gammon, washed, soaked in cold water overnight and drained bay leaves

6 peppercorns

2 teaspoons dried thyme

6 shallots, finely chopped

2 fl. oz. white wine

2 oz. butter

2 tablespoons flour

10 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

5 fl. oz. double cream of the butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste.

Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is thick and smooth.

Stir in the shallots and tarragon. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and stir in the cream and the remaining butter.

Remove the pan from the heat and keep the sauce hot.

Transfer the gammon from the pan to a carving board. With a sharp knife, carefully peel off the skin and fat and discard them.

Carve the gammon into thin slices, allowing approximately 3 to 4 slices per person.

Arrange the slices in a warmed, oven-proof serving dish. Pour the sauce over the gammon.

Place the dish in the oven and heat through for 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve at once.

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