Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
What Is a Gammon Steak?
Gammon is meat taken from the hind leg of a pig. Like bacon, it is cured in salt or brine and can be smoked or unsmoked. A gammon steak simply relates to the shape in which the meat has been cut from the whole, resembling very often in shape and size to the more familiar beef steaks. While gammon steaks are usually fried, grilled/broiled or griddled, this idea was a bit of an experiment, cooking the steak in a method perhaps more frequently associated with salmon. The gammon steak is essentially baked inside a puff pastry casing, along with a deliciously spicy pineapple and bell pepper topping/filling.
Gammon steaks are sold in a variety of forms and can vary significantly in price as a result. At the lower end of the scale, you have supermarket budget varieties which should be avoided if possible as they are often injected with water to bulk up the weight and this would make them especially unsuitable for cooking en croute.
This is not to say all vacuum packed gammon steaks are similarly processed and some (like the ones used in this recipe) are very good. The ideal option, however, is where you can buy a steak cut by hand by a local butcher.
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Prep time: 1 hour 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours 15 min
Yields: One large serving
- 2 medium-sized baking potatoes
- ¼ each of red, green and yellow peppers, seeded and moderately finely diced
- 1 pineapple ring, moderately finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaf/cilantro
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
- Black pepper
- 4 ounces puff pastry
- Flour for dusting
- 1 half-inch thick gammon steak
- 1 beaten egg
- Vegetable or sunflower oil for greasing baking tray and deep frying
- ½ head of broccoli, broken in to florets
- Chopped fresh chives to garnish (optional)
How to Make Potato Wedges (Stage One)
The potatoes should be washed (scrubbed, if necessary) but not peeled. They should then be cut in half long ways and each half cut in to three or four wedges. Put them in to a pot of cold water and let them steep for ten minutes or so to get rid of the excess starch.
Drain the potatoes and put them back in to the pot. Add plenty of cold water and some salt. Bring the water to a simmer and continue to simmer for ten minutes or until you see the skin just starting to separate from the potato around the edges of the wedges.
Drain the potato wedges again through a colander and leave to steam off for five minutes or until steam can barely be seen to be rising from them. Lay them in a suitable plastic dish in a single layer and refrigerate uncovered for a minimum of half an hour to further dry them out.
How to Make the Spicy Pineapple Filling
Put the diced peppers and pineapple in to a large glass or stone mixing bowl. Add the coriander/cilantro and chilli powder. Season further with a little bit of black pepper but you shouldn't need salt as all the salt required will come from the cured gammon steak.
Mix all the ingredients together, cover with some kitchen paper and set aside for just a few minutes until required.
How to Assemble and Cook a Gammon Steak en Croute
It's a good idea to start by measuring your gammon steak. This is simply so you know how large you need to roll out the pastry. The pastry needs to be large enough to be folded over the gammon steak (with the topping) and be crimped around the edges.
Roll out the pastry on a clean, dry, floured surface. Brush one half of it with beaten egg and lay the gammon steak on the wet half.
Use a teaspoon to spoon the spicy pineapple combination on top of the gammon steak. Don't make the covering too thick and do leave a small border around the edge of the steak as shown in the picture. This makes folding the pastry over and crimping it much easier. It also means your parcel is far less likely to burst open in the oven. You may not need all the filling—that's fine. Any excess is actually very pleasant simply supped as a cook/chef's perk (provided of course that it hasn't touched the raw steak!)
Lightly brush the pastry border around the gammon steak with more beaten egg and fold the pastry over the top, ensuring it fits smoothly and there are no wrinkles but don't pull it too tight. Crimp the edges either between one thumb and index finger, your two index fingers, or any effective way in which you feel comfortable.
Put your oven on to preheat only at this stage to 425F/210C/Gas Mark 7. This is so the pastry has some resting time after it is rolled, folded and crimped, before it goes in to the hot oven.
When your oven is ready, lightly oil a baking tray and use a large spatula to carefully lift on the pastry parcel. Glaze the package all over with beaten egg, paying particular attention to the crimps. Use a sharp knife to cut three steam vents across the centre of the pastry.
Put the tray in to the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is risen and beautifully golden.
Take the tray from the oven and again use the spatula to lift the pastry on to a wire rack. Leave it to rest for ten minutes or so while you prepare the potato wedges and broccoli.
Preparing Gammon Steak Accompaniments and Plating Up
The potato wedges could be added to a deep fryer but in this instance were simply fried in a deep frying pan of oil. Either way, bring the oil up to a fairly high heat before adding the wedges (straight from the fridge) to fry for five or six minutes until crispy and golden.
Add the broccoli florets to a large pot of boiling, salted water and simmer for about eight minutes or so until just starting to soften.
Lift the potato wedges to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain off while you drain the broccoli at your sink through a colander or large sieve.
Lift the gammon steak en croute on to your serving plate carefully (ideally using the spatula again) as it will still be hot.
The potato wedges and broccoli should be added to the plate and the chopped chives scattered as a final garnish before service.
© 2014 Gordon Hamilton
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on August 11, 2015:
Thank you all for the comments and I hope you get to try this idea out. Yes, it would be a good idea to check it is cooked RoadMonkey but I find these instructions ensure it is on each occasion.
Jelena from Florida on June 10, 2015:
This is a creative idea and will try sometime.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 10, 2015:
I don't think I have tried this recipe before. This is now at the top of my list to do for dinner.
RoadMonkey on June 10, 2015:
I certainly have had gammon steaks before and served with pineapple on them but never tried en croute. That sounds really good! Do you have to check whether the steak is cooked before removing from the oven? I am always very wary of undercooked meat, especially pork. It's 50 years since my mother gave me food poisoning by cooking pork straight from the freezer (people didn't understand about defrosting in those days) and then taking it with us on a picnic. I have seldom felt so bad!
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 10, 2015:
This looks simply divine. Congratulations for your HOTD. Well-deserved!
Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 10, 2015:
Yummy! Looking at the photos made me hungry although I have just eaten my lunch. I have to try this. Congratulations on the HOTD!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 10, 2015:
Congrats on HOTD, Gordon. As for gammon steak, I never heard of it. I might try this recipe someday, since the chili powder is optional. Voted up for useful!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 10, 2015:
Looks like a yummy recipe and you explained it very well with pictures and instructions.
Congratulations for HOTD and thanks for sharing! Voted up.
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on April 17, 2014:
Hi, Nell - and thank you. Sorry, I've not been around so much recently. Will put that right soon :)
I know gammon is not so widely available as many other pork cuts WiccanSage but I hope you can find it. If your husband's a pork lover, I guarantee he would love gammon. Thanks for stopping by.
Mackenzie Sage Wright on April 17, 2014:
Wow that looks yummy, and I'm not a big meat eater but even that looks like something I can dive into. My husband-- total pork lover, meat & potatoes type guy-- he would love that with the crust. Never heard of gammon, have to see if they sell it around here. Nice hub.
Nell Rose from England on April 16, 2014:
Another great recipe Gordon, long time no see! lol! voted up and shared! nell
Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on April 16, 2014:
I would say the whole pig sounds even more delicious, grand old lady! :) I hope you do manage to find a gammon steak, though, as it is slightly different and a very pleasant eating experience. Thanks for visiting and commenting.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 15, 2014:
This is the first time that I learned what gammon steak is. In the Philippines we eat lechon, but it's the whole pig and not just the leg. Will look for gammon steak in the supermarket. It might have a tagalog name, but I just might find it.