Turkey, no matter how good a cook you think you are, is still a Turkey at the end of the day... That dull dry white flesh of the average bird just doesn’t stand a chance against the delicious pink flesh and soft white fat of a good bit of pig. So Bacon or Ham is the only way forward and what you can’t eat on the day just gets better sat in the Fridge.
I’m a boiled ham guy; it’s just what I’ve been brought up with. I’ve got nothing against those who roast their ham it’s just not going to happen under my roof...
Whether you use Bacon or Ham the rule of thumb remains the same, it will need about 30 minutes of cooking per 500 grams. If you are not sure just ask your butcher or look on the packaging if you’ve gone to a supermarket.
You’ll need to bring it to the boil from cold, discard the water and then top it up with fresh. This brings out the extra salt from the meat and while it won’t kill you the scum that forms on top just isn’t pleasant so get rid!
Throw in some stock veg, a bouquet garni and some peppercorns. Keep topping up the water from time to time to ensure the meat is covered by water. When you’ve cooked your Ham or Bacon take it out of the water and let rest a minute or two.
It just needs to relax and allow the skin to cool. Score the skin with a sharp knife and layer on a glaze to make the Skin and fat even more luscious. I've used some pouring honey so you can see what’s going on.
Simply brush warmed honey on top of the fat and put into the hot oven to make it caramelise. You can use Brown Sugar or Marmalade, mix in some Mustard or Soya Sauce it all works well with Bacon.
Put the whole thing in a hot oven, top up the glaze every 20 minutes or so... Maybe pull off a little treat for yourself if the temptation gets too much! Once you’ve got a deeply caramelised, crisp and sticky skin take it out.
I cannot stress this too much, let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes before you start to carve. Enjoy!