Ham in Cider Sauce

A wonderfully simple yet impressive dinner party dish, Ham in Cider Sauce tastes particularly delicious with szueet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

½ ham, about

6 to

7 lb., scrubbed, soaked in cold water overnight and drained

6 cloves large onion, sliced carrots, scraped and quartered bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1½ oz. butter

14

11. oz.flf cups cider

2 tablespoons flour

2 oz. sultanas or raisins

With a sharp knife, make six small inci-sions in the ham and insert the cloves.

Place the ham in a large saucepan and half-fill it with cold water. Add the onion, carrots and bouquet garni. Place the pan over moderately high heat and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the ham for about 2 hours, or allowing 20 minutes to the pound and 20 minutes over.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid. When the ham is cool enough to handle, remove it from the cooking liquid and peel off the skin. Discard the ham skin, the cooking vegetables and liquid.

Score the ham with diamond shapes using a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350CF (Gas Mark 4, 180CC).

Place the ham in a roasting tin. Cut

1 tablespoon of the butter into small pieces and dot them on top of the ham. Pour

6 fluid ounces – of the cider carefully over and around the ham.

Place the roasting tin in the oven and bake the ham for about 1 hour, or allowing 10 minutes to the pound plus 10 minutes over. Baste the ham occasionally during the cooking period.

Remove the ham from the oven and transfer it to a carving board. Set aside while you make the sauce. Strain the cooking juices into a measuring jug and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 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 remaining cider, v’

These Custards may be served as hors d’oeuvre or as a superb main dish. stirring constantly. Then stir in the reserved cooking juices and the sultanas or raisins.

Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is thick and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauccboat.

Carve the ham into slices and serve, with the cider sauce.

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