It has been ages since I shared something savoury with you. It’s not because we eat cake and nothing else in this house, it’s because my savoury food is never very photogenic. I would like it to look like this or this but it never does. My presentation skills are always lacking. I never pile things into towers I just spoon it onto a warmed plate. It is especially difficult to get a good photo of an evening meal in an English winter. With a cake I can take it outside and take a photo using the little natural light offered by our dull January days. With an evening meal the sun was last seen a good few hours ago and the lights in our kitchen are of the spot variety which means wherever I stand I am always casting a shadow.
Anyway, I decided that last night’s meal was so good it needed to be shared with you regardless of whether it looks a bit of a mess in the photos. I had roasted a gammon joint, but I should have boiled it or soaked it the previous day because it’s just a bit too salty . So I thought if I layered it into a potatoes boulangere this might reduce the ham’s saltiness but add a good flavour to the potatoes. Then I thought I might add carrots too to add an extra savoury element.
The end result was very comforting indeed, soft and squidgy veg and tender ham with a crispy potato topping. I urge you to try it soon. If I had more time I would have crisped the top more, but we were both very hungry.
Serves 2 hungry people
2 large potatoes, sliced thinly
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion sliced thinly
4 ham slices
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
I use a tin measuring 26cm x 20cm and butter it generously. Then place a layer of potato, a layer of carrot, a layer of ham, then a layer of onion in the tin and season generously with pepper (you won’t need any salt). Top with a layer of potato and pour over the stock. Dot with more butter. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°, gas mark 4 or the baking oven of the Aga for 1½ hours. Remove the foil and continue to cook for another ½ hour until browned on top. Serve in a pile on a plate if you are anything like me. A chunk of good bread is obligatory to soak up the juices.
Here it is before the final layer of potato.