1 Boil Place a boneless gammon (about 2 kg), 2 chopped carrots, 2 coarsely chopped celery stalks and 1 onion, peeled and quartered, with 3 bay leaves in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Let the gammon cool in the cooking liquid for another hour. Remove the meat from the liquid (set aside about 125ml) and cool so you can work with it.
2 Glaze Place 300g small cherry tomatoes, 1 whole chilli and 250ml boiling water in a small saucepan on the stove and boil for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers start to soften. Add 250ml sugar and a sprig of thyme or origanum and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in a shot of whisky (optional) and 30ml honey. Set aside.
3 Skin Using a sharp knife, trim off the hard skin on top of the fat layer of the gammon. Try to do this in long strips, which makes it easier not to accidentally leave a few pieces of skin behind. Also try not to remove too much of the fat with the skin – the goal is to have an even layer of fat across the top of the pork.
4 Score Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the meat on a wire rack in an ovenproof dish. Score the fat layer in a 2cm diamond pattern without cutting through the fat into the meat. If you prefer, press a clove into each diamond as a fragrant garnish. Tip Feel free to use the oven’s heat to cook a side dish with the gammon; we added sweet potato slices. Pour the reserved cooking liquid into the bottom of the dish; this helps to prevent the glaze that drips off the meat from burning.
5 Bake and baste Pour or spread half of the tomato glaze over the meat and bake for about 30–45 minutes or until the glaze is golden-brown and caramelised. Baste regularly with extra glaze and make sure the glaze does not brown too quickly before the fat renders properly.
6 Set the glaze Remove the glazed gammon from the oven and sprinkle a thin layer of castor sugar over the glaze. Bake again for about 15 minutes – this makes the coating shiny and crispy.