*Gherkin Sauced Ham Steaks*

*Gherkin Sauced Ham Steaks*
Serves 2

As the butcher explained to me, gammon is ham before it's cooked.  It only becomes ham afterwards.  The gherkins in this recipe are not the sweet and bright green pickled ones we get in North American, but the small and slightly sour ones we get over here, which are what the French call Cornichons, so be sure to use the right ones.  They go perfectly with the saltiness of the ham.  A dollop of sharp and tangy English mustard on the side also goes very well.

2 large gammon steaks (each aout 7 to 8 ounces)
1 cup dry white wine
6 small gherkins, finely chopped
1 TBS butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped (I like to use the long French ones)
1/2 TBS flour
1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a knob of butter for cooking

Melt the first amount of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add the chopped shallot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the shallot is nicely softened without having browned.  Stir in the flour and mix it in well.  Whisk in the wine slowly, a little at a time, until you have a smooth sauce.  Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about ten minutes while you cook the gammon steaks.

Remove the rind from the gammon steaks and clip the fat at half inch intervals all around.  This helps to keep the steaks from curling up when you cook them.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the knob of butter and heat until it strarts to foam a bit and sizzle.  Add the gammon steaks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they start to brown slightly and the fat on the edge gets a bit crispy.  Turn the heat out and finish the sauce.

Stir the chopped gherkins, parsley and lemon juice into the sauce.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper and heat through.  Serve the steaks with a bit of the warmed sauce spooned over and then the rest in a dish on the side so that people can help themselves if they so wish.

Note - if you don't do wine, you can use 3/4 cup of apple juice and 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar with good results.