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In My Kitchen
by Annie Bell
Coating a ham to be eaten cold with breadcrumbs is one of the plainest ways of presenting it. I like to include crushed hazelnuts that give the crust more in the way of flavor. This goes beautifully with the sweet and sharp mustard and Cumberland sauce. In fact, you wouldn't be overdoing it to serve both.
• One 4½ lb unsmoked ham, boned and rolled
• 3 outer stalks of celery, trimmed and sliced
• 2 carrots, trimmed and sliced
• 1 leek, trimmed and sliced
• 2 bay leaves
• 2/3 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
• 1/3 cup hazelnuts, skinned
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Soak the ham in cold water overnight, then drain. Place it in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Discard the water and start again with fresh water to cover, this time adding the sliced vegetables and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then maintain at a gentle simmer over a low heat for 2 hours.
In the meantime, heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the breadcrumbs in a thin layer on a baking pan and toast in the oven for 8-9 minutes until lightly golden. Remove and leave to cool. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer in a baking pan and again toast for 8-9 minutes until golden. Remove and leave to cool. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and whiz until very finely chopped, stopping short of a powder. Combine the breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, and cayenne pepper on a large plate.
Transfer the ham to a plate using two forks, and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Pull the rind off the ham using your fingers. Roll the ham on all sides in the breadcrumbs, pressing it down firmly to coat it as generously as possible. Place on a clean plate and leave to cool completely, then carve and serve.
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