Boiled Ham & Vegetables

This boiled ham joint is only slightly (brilliantly) reminiscent of a 1970s school dinner, because actually the vegetables and their lovely poaching liquor give the whole dish a much more delicious (and dare I say it, sophisticated?) note. This is a quick supper recipe; a small ham will take less than an hour to cook, and the vegetables are done in a quarter of that time; it's surprisingly healthy too. An excellent side dish for this would be paprika roasted potatoes (diced pretty small so they go crunchy in the oven...) but a baked spud is just as good by way of an accompaniment.


  • Ham Joint (500g – 1kg?!)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 large Carrots
  • Bulb of Fennel
  • Large bowl of Peas (frozen or fresh)
  • Dill or Parsley (to serve)

Poaching Liquor

  • 300ml White Wine
  • 100ml Olive Oil
  • 75ml Lemon Juice
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon Salt

To cook the Ham - bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with a couple of Bay Leaves thrown in… Then add the whole Ham joint; it will need about an hour per kilo (so for a 700g joint around 45 minutes is good).

Simmer the Ham gently for this time, with a lid on…

When the Ham is cooked; take it out of the water and cut off the fat

[You can of course bake the Ham now; maybe with Mustard and Honey?]

Leave the meat to rest while you prepare the Vegetables

Peel and slice the Onion into quarters (or eighths if large)

Scrub the Carrots and cut into batons

Wash and slice the Fennel into similar sized slices as the Carrots / Onions

Bring the Lemon Juice, White Wine and Olive Oil to the boil with the Carrot, Onion Bay Leaves and half a teaspoon of Maldon Salt

When it has simmered for a few minutes, the alcohol has cooked off, and the carrots are cooked (with some firm bite still) – add the Peas and turn the heat off

Serve the Vegetables immediately, in a bowl with lots of the Liquor spooned over, and a few chunky slices of Ham.  Chop some fresh Herbs to sprinkle all over (Chives, Dill, Parsley are all good).  Some Dijon or English Mustard is also excellent with this…

[The liquor here is Ottolenghi’s Poached Vegetable recipe from his amazing book, ‘Plenty’ – buy it, is excellent]

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