Jambon Braise au Vin Blanc

An excellent dish for a large dinner party, Jambon Braise au Vin Blanc (jawm-bohn bray-zay oh van blahn) is ham braised in white wine and served with mushroom sauce. Serve with new potatoes and either French beans or sauteed courgettes , and to drink, a full-bodied white Burgundy wine, such as Meursault.

12-14

3 oz. butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced 1 large carrot, scraped and sliced 1 pint 6 fl. oz. dry white wine bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 x

10 lb. cooked ham, skinned and excess fat removed

2 spring onions , very thinly sliced

1 lb. mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 oz. beurre manie

10 fl. oz. double cream

Preheat the oven to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

In a very large flameproof casserole or deep roasting tin, heat 1 ounce of the butter with the oil over moderate heat.

When the foam subsides, add the onion and carrot and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Pour in the wine, then add the bouquet garni. Bring the wine to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Remove the casserole or roasting tin from the heat.

Place the ham in the casserole or roasting tin and baste it with the pan liquids. Place the casserole or roasting tin in the oven and bake the ham for 2 hours, or allowing 10 minutes to the pound plus 10 minutes over. Baste the ham occasionally with the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile make the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are soft. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are very lightly browned.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Remove the casserole or roasting tin

A classic French dish, Jambon en Crotlte is ham baked in a pastry crust. Serve it hot or cold, with a crisp green salad and red wine. from the oven and transfer the ham to a large piece of aluminium foil. Enclose the ham completely and return it to the oven to keep hot while you finish the sauce.

Strain the cooking liquids into a medium-sized saucepan, discarding any vegetable pulp remaining in the strainer. Add the liquid from the mushrooms. Set the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Boil the liquid for 5 to 6 minutes, or until it has reduced by about one-half. Taste the sauce and if necessary add the salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to moderate and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the beurre manie, a small piece at a time. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Stir in the mushroom mixture and the cream. Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauce-boat.

Carve the ham into slices and pour over a little of the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce separately.

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