This is another recipe suitable for a party, but rather more extravagant than Chicken Pilaff. It freezes well and reheats perfectly. The recipe comes from the Burgundy area of France and takes it’s name from the Morvan forests.
Soak the ham in cold water overnight and discard the water the next day. Place the ham in a large saucepan and cover with fresh, cold water. Bring it slowly to the boil and discard the water. Repeat the process once or twice more, depending on how salty the ham is. (This is particularly important if the dish is to be frozen because freezing seems to intensify the salty taste.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a casserole large enough to take the ham. Toss the sliced carrots and onions in the fat and sweat for approximately 10 minutes. Place the ham on top of the vegetables and add the parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and cloves. Pour over the wine and stock; cover, bring to the boil and simmer on top of the stove or in a moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, until the ham is cooked, approximately 2½–3 hours. You can test when it is cooked by lifting the skin: if it peels off easily, the ham is cooked. (Allow about 15 minutes per 450 g and 15 minutes over.)
To make the sauce cook the onion or shallot in a little butter on a low heat until soft. Remove from the pan. Sauté the mushrooms on a high heat and add to the shallot. When the ham is cooked, strain and de-grease the cooking liquid. Return the liquid to the casserole with the cream and bring to the boil. Thicken with roux to a light coating consistency and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shallots and taste for seasoning. Skin the ham and slice carefully, arranging in one or more serving dishes.
To make the liaison, mix the egg yolks with the cream and add a ladleful of the simmering sauce to the liaison, mix well and add into the remaining sauce. Do not allow to boil again or it may curdle.
Spoon the sauce over the slices of ham in the serving dish (may be prepared ahead to this point). Reheat in a moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, for approximately 20–30 minutes. It should be bubbling and slightly golden on top.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.