Saturday dinner Gammon,pasta,apple chutney 

At the TESCO taste fest yesterday I got a 700g gammon joint glazed with honey and mustard from Connolly’s of Monaghan. The samples tasted great at the festival and I liked the fact it was in a sealed bag ready for the oven. I followed the cooking instructions to the letter (80 minutes in preheated oven at 180oC, gas mark 5).

Whilst that was cooking, I par boiled 4 handfuls of penne pasta and make a sauce using 2 diced carrots, 4 chopped mushrooms, 1 diced pepper and 12 small florets of broccoli-which I cooked in a teaspoon of oil. To this I added 200g of pesto and 125ml of cream. I drained the pasta and mixed all together and transferred to an ovenproof dish. I grated 100g cheddar over the pasta and was ready to put into oven after 40 minutes.

I then started on the chutney. I peeled, cored and diced 12 medium cooking apples which my nephew and niece freshly picked off their tree today!! In a saucepan I put 3 tablespoons of Demerara and a tbsp of honey, 100 ml of Burren balsamic apple vinegar, and brought to boil. After reducing the temp I added a tsp of ground cinnamon, green cardamom, 1/2 tsp ginger and 12 cloves and 1 finely chopped jalapeño. Then I added the apples and cooked for 30 minutes.

Connolly’s have been rearing pigs from 1824 and curing for the last 30. Their Pork quality is fantastic. During the cooking I did run into an issue. The bag disintegrated!! Panic not….I removed the packaging and luckily there was no plastic stuck to the meat or in the juices. I wrapped the joint in foil and poured juices over and put back in oven. Issue solved. The meat, pasta and sauce were all ready at the same time!!

Then time to feed the family!! Must say they all loved it-gammon was succulent and not fatty or chewy or overly salty. The creamy pesto penne pasta went down a treat and kids loved the vegetables. The chutney was tart and had a kick and was well flavoured. All in all a great meal!!

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