A piece of rolled ham like the one featured in this recipe is not only extremely tasty if cooked properly, it generally represents excellent value for money. The ham is boneless and although it does have some fat on it, this fat is necessary both for flavor and to keep the ham moist during cooking. It can easily be cut away and discarded after the meat is cooked and cooled. It is also possible to make excellent soup from the stock left behind when this ham has been boiled but if you are choosing to exercise this option, it is a good idea to begin by soaking the ham in a large bowl of cold water for twenty-four hours in your fridge prior to beginning the cooking process. This rids it of the excess salt which will otherwise largely be imparted to the cooking liquid during boiling.

Boiled Ham with Deviled Duck Egg and Fried Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Boiled ham is served with deviled duck egg, spicy fried beans and pan roasted potatoes


This two and a half pound piece of ham will easily serve four and perhaps up to six people. The accompanying ingredients for this serving suggestion are listed in the quantities required per person.

Rolled Ham
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Rolled ham is added to soup pot

  • 2¼ pound (approximately) piece of rolled, unsmoked ham
  • 1 medium to large carrot
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 or 7 baby new potatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 duck egg
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or similar mustard
  • ½ 14 ounce can mixed beans of choice
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 medium size and strength red chili
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Malt vinegar
Carrot, Celery and Onion
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Carrot, celery and onion

Wash the carrot, cut off and discard the top and roughly chop. Wash and roughly chop the celery stick. Peel and quarter the onion.

Ham Ready for Poaching
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Poaching accompaniments are added to pot with ham

The boiling time for the ham is determined by its weight, the formula being twenty minutes per pound and twenty extra minutes. This 2¼ pound joint therefore required one hour and five minutes.

Make sure that you remove and discard all the ham's packaging. Sometimes, pieces of meat like this are encased in a tight plastic sleeve as well as the external packaging which is not always easily visible. Sit the ham in a large soup or stock pot before adding the chopped vegetables, whole peppercorns and bay leaves. Do not add any salt as the salt in the ham's cure is more than sufficient.

Pour in enough cold water to comfortably cover the ham and put the pot on to a high heat. When the water reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to just maintain and cover the pot. It is from this point that the cooking time should start being measured.

Boiling Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potatoes are initially cooked by boiling

Put the potatoes in to a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until just softened.

Drained Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potatoes are drained and allowed to steam

Drain the potatoes through a colander and let them sit for around ten minutes until they stop visibly steaming. Return to the empty pot, cover and leave to cool completely.

Boiled Ham is Cooked
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Boiled ham is cooked

When the simmering time for the ham is up, turn off the heat under the pot.

Boiled Ham
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Boiled ham is lifted from the pot to a deep plate

Lift the ham carefully from the water with a large slotted spoon, steadying it with a carving fork. Sit it in a deep plate, cover and leave to cool.

Boiling Duck Egg
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Duck egg is gently boiled in water

Put the duck egg in to a pot of cold water and bring to a gentle simmer for ten minutes. Lift the pot to your sink and run cold water in to it until the egg is cool enough to handle. Crack the shell on a hard surface and peel the egg. Re-submerge it in cold water to cool it quickly and prevent the green/grey discoloration forming around the edges of the yolk.

Fat Cut from Ham
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Wedge of fat is cut from ham

Lift the cooled ham to a chopping board. Use a carving knife to cut away the large piece of fat and discard.

Carving Ham
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Ham is carefully carved for service

Carve the ham across the grain to slices of around a quarter of an inch in thickness.

Mixed Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Can of mixed beans salad

As well as five different types of beans, this can contained corn kernels and finely chopped red bell pepper. Simply use the brand/variety of your choice.

Washing Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Beans are washed to remove canning impurities

Pour the contents of the can in to a colander in your sink and rinse thoroughly with cold water. This gets rid of the canning impurities and excess salt. Transfer half the contents to a plastic tub and your fridge for later use and leave the remainder to drain off briefly through the colander.

Peeled Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cooled potatoes are peeled of their skins

Carefully peel the potatoes with your fingers and discard the skin.

Deep Frying Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Potatoes are deep fried in hot oil

Bring a deep pan of vegetable oil up to a high heat and deep fry the potatoes until golden. Alternatively, you could use a deep fryer. They should take four to five minutes.

Halved Duck Egg
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cooled duck egg is cut in half

Cut the duck egg in half down through the center.

Duck Egg Yolk and Mustard
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Duck egg yolk ready to be mashed with mustard

Pop the yolk halves in to a small bowl or deep plate and add the teaspoon of mustard. Mash and combine with the back of a fork.

Deviled Duck Egg and Ham
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Deviled duck egg and ham are plated

Divide the mashed yolk and mustard evenly between the two vacated sections of the egg whites. Plate with two or three slices of the ham.

Draining Potatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Deep fried potatoes are drained and seasoned

Lift the potatoes to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain. Season at this stage with salt and malt vinegar.

Red Chili and Garlic
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Red chili and garlic

Peel the garlic clove and finely dice. Top, seed and finely dice the red chili.

Sauteing Garlic
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sauteing garlic in olive oil

Pour the olive oil in to a small, non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic only in the first instance and gently saute for about thirty seconds to soften and impart the flavors to the oil.

Beans and Chili added to Garlic

Beans and chili are added to sauteed garlic and seasoned

Add the beans and chili to the pan and season with a little salt and black pepper.

Frying Beans
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Beans are fried over an increased heat

Saute the beans for two or three minutes. Spoon on to the serving plate, add the potatoes and enjoy.

Cutting in to Deviled Duck Egg
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Cutting in to deviled duck egg and ham