Spring is definitely in the air. Or at least it seemed that way yesterday. The morning started out bright and sunny however by afternoon the snow was dinging down. That's Scotland for you! Despite the changeable weather there are some delicious spring flavours in the recipe I'm sharing today. My Slow Cooked Ham with Juniper, Lime and Jasmine would work really well as the centerpiece for an Easter Sunday Lunch. However being made the slow cooker it's equally suited to a midweek meal and the leftovers make the most awesome sandwiches.
Fentimans, the botanically brewed drinks folk, have just launched a new flavour to add to their range of natural drinks. Their ‘Sparkling Lime and Jasmine’ has been available from 1st March and joins their existing line up with the likes of Ginger Beer, Rose Lemonade, Curiosity Cola, Victorian Lemonade, and Dandelion & Burdock. If like me you're a Gin lover you'll no doubt be all too familiar with their premium Tonic Water mixers. However in this day and age many of us are looking for viable alternatives to alcohol for a myriad of reasons. This sophisticated and refreshing botanical brew definitely fits the bill without the sickly sweetness of many of its peers.
The iconic 'olde worlde' bottle looks fab with its distinctive dog’s head logo. I was intrigued to discover that the dog was Thomas Fentiman's pet dog 'Fearless', who won awards for obedience at Crufts in 1933 and 1934. Enough about the looks - how does it taste? "Yum, it's kinda bitter and not overtly sweet and a bit like tonic. I really like it!" The description is probably best left to their own tasting notes rather than my own
A light but finely balanced liquid with a distinctive botanical aroma. The initial refreshing bitterness on the tongue is quickly balanced by the botanical sweetness of lime flower, hyssop and myrtle to leave a clean, dry citrus note. The aroma is created by a complex mix of botanical infusions including white jasmine flowers.
Despite my talk of temperance I know you're all still all patiently waiting for the answer to the big question. How does Fentimans Sparkling Lime & Jasmine taste as a mixer with Gin? The answer is awesome. Cheers!
Slow Cooked Ham with Juniper, Lime and Jasmine
1.5kg Unsmoked Gammon Joint
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
1 Tsp Juniper Berries
2 x 275ml Bottles of Fentimans Sparkling Lime & Jasmine
3 Tbsp Lemon & Lime Marmalade
1 Tsp Juniper Berries
Zest of 1 Lime
2 Tbsp Lemon & Lime Marmalade
1 Tbsp Cornflour
Ground Black Pepper
Place the gammon joint in the bottom of the slow cooker crock pot along with the onion and juniper berries. Pour over two bottles of Fentimans Sparkling Lime & Jasmine.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
(If you don't have a slow cooker you can cook the gammon in a large pan on the hob. Bring to the boil, reduce to a good simmer, put the lid on and cook for 1½ hours.)
Preheat the oven to 200c.
When the ham is cooked (raw it's gammon - cooked it's ham) take it out of the slow cooker and let it cool a little for ease of handling.
Remove any skin and leave a layer of fat.
Score the fat with a sharp knife to make fairly large diamond shapes.
Spread the marmalade over the joint of ham, stud each diamond with a juniper berry and sprinkle on the lime zest.
Cook in a lined roasting tin for approximately 20 minutes or until the glaze is burnished and bubbly. Check and baste every 5 minutes.
Meanwhile sieve the cooking juices from the slow cooker into a small saucepan and discard the onion and juniper berries.
Boil vigorously to reduce the volume by half.
Add the marmalade, thicken with the cornflower slaked with water and season with black pepper.
To serve decant the gravy into an empty Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine bottle.
For further Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine inspiration take a look at these ideas from my food blogger friends