If you watched last weeks Great British Bake off, you will probably understand where my inspiration came from for this post! If you can put fizzy pop into a cheesecake (such a genius idea and definitely got my vote!) Then why can’t I put it into my family dinners? Give them a bit more pazazz you know? I’m sure most people have tried this, but if not then prepared to be blown away!! Not really, I’m not Heston, but this is a very cool midweek meal and the kids absolutely loved it.
I have got a BIG slow cooker (necessary if you know how much my crew eat). This gammon joint was meant for 8+ people, I served 7, five were children. I threw in a bag of new potatoes and a whole bottle of Pepsi Max Cherry (I would have used Cherry coke but this was cheaper in the shop #mrsfrugal) Out of sheer luck, and very little judgment it filled the slow cooker up to the top of the gammon and covered the potatoes, that’s perfect and exactly what you should aim for.
I switched it on low at 8 in the morning and left it for the day. Nothing more satisfying than going out for the day knowing that dinner was cooking itself. There’s a mum win right there on the kids first day back at school! I won’t lie, I felt inwardly smug for the whole day.
I had planned to do carrots and homegrown runner beans with it, but when I was at the market I picked up a couple of tasty romanesco’s to take home for dinner (does that sound as seedy as I think it does?) If I’m honest, I hadn’t tried them before but the lovely lady on Ray’s veg stall said they were more robust than broccoli and I should give them a go. So give them a go I did and they were fab! The kids loved them, Flo particularly liked poking them but that’s cool, she ate them in the end.
We had an unexpected extra child for dinner, my sons new study buddy and I was a little dubious about serving him up my dinner experiment but honestly, it was a winner. Everybody loved it and the only left overs were three potatoes which will undoubtedly sit in the fridge until I need the dish they are in, then I’ll give them to the dog…
This is optional for you, but I ladled out most of the juice in the slow cooker (I left a little in the bottom so I could keep it warm) Once I had a good pan full of the cokey-gammony juice I reduced it down to a really tasty sauce, I didn’t bother thickening it, mainly because I wanted to know what it would taste like unadulterated. It was quite salty obviously because of the gammon, but actually just a little drizzled over the plate was perfect. The flavours were so concentrated but I really liked it, the kids had some too and said it was nicer than gravy…as a northener I wouldn’t normally accept that, but I let it slide this time.