According to an article in the Mail & Guardian recently, South Africans are guilty of wasting nearly 10.3 million tons of food per year! And that’s not food that’s perished and become inedible; this is edible food we are talking about! According to the M&G, a large portion of food is rejected due to being an odd shape and size, meaning things like oversized patty-pans and wonky cucumbers simply never make it to the table or into your favourite South African recipe.
But that’s not the only thing that’s wasted. When it comes to food production waste the average person at home doesn’t have much of a role to play, but food waste is exacerbated by our penchant for over-buying or over-cooking and sending the balance of uneaten South African Christmas food out into the trash – to fill a landfill and feed the flies. Christmas time is the biggest time for food waste offenders to come to the fore. But what if this Christmas was different? What if this Christmas you focused on repurposing gammon and other leftovers so that the festive time of giving doesn’t become a mockery of the meaning of Christmas? Hopefully we’ve got your attention because we’re about to share some tips on how to turn your potential Christmas food waste into tasty treats to be further enjoyed!
South African christmas food
We’re all guilty of buying or making too much food at Christmas time. The multiple packets of ingredients are ordered and stockpiled weeks in advance. This is in anticipation of cooking up a storm of all the delicious South African Christmas food we all know and love. However, it’s usually the day after boxing day that reality strikes with a vengeance. Then faced with multiple platters of leftover meats and delicacies, we realize we don’t know what to do with it all. Oh, for a big enough bin! No one wants to eat the same thing for the next six months, so how do we repurpose these foods into tasty treats the family can’t resist? We trawl through Ouma’s recipe book for a good old South African recipe!
Gammon vs. the bin
After conducting some research with the help of Google, we all know that a traditional roasted or glazed gammon is the number one meat required for a proper South African Christmas. So what goes into a South African gammon recipe? The succulent taste of gammon is created by soaking a pork leg joint in brine. This adds moisture and a salty flavor to the meat, which is excellent when complimented with the many salads and side dishes served at Christmas time. Especially when topped with a sticky, sweet glaze that offsets its salty tang. The gammon is probably the least likely to make it to the bin, but if you’ve overcooked and the throngs of visitors and family members have long since gone home, what do you do with the leftovers?
There are many exciting glazed gammon recipes to be found, some of which include cooking your gammon in coke. The acidity of the coke balances the salty flavour of the gammon and tenderizes the meat. The coke can also be boiled down to a sweet sticky glaze after the roast is cooked. It’s delicious – there’s no denying that. To prevent your tasty glazed gammon from finding its way into the bin, here’s a gammon recipe to pep up and repurpose your leftovers this Christmas.
Gammon loaded potato skins
What you need
- 10 large roast potatoes (leftover)
- Cubed gammon (leftover)
- 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 15 g fresh chives, sliced
- 120 g crème fraiche
- 100 g mature cheddar, grated
- Baking tray
What to do
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
- Line a large baking tray with grease-proof paper
- Using a tablespoon, carefully scoop out the centers of the roast potatoes. Leaving behind a shell-type shape.
- Place the scooped-out potato flesh into a bowl and mix in the gammon, onions, chives, and crème fraiche. Mix thoroughly. Note, the mixture should be slightly stiff, not runny.
- Spoon the mixture into the potato shells and place them on the baking tray. Then top each potato with a generous helping of grated cheese.
- Bake the potato skins for approximately fifteen minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Serve with cherry tomatoes and baby-leaf salad or simply enjoy as a light finger snack with a cheeky glass of wine!
Because gammon is such a versatile meat, it can literally be repurposed in many interesting ways. For example, if potato skins are not on the menu, why not add your leftover gammon to a bowl of cheesy pasta. Or, if the January diet has begun, pop a few chunks into your Caesar salad and add a few slices of apple to give it that extra sweet taste.
No matter how you choose to enjoy your gammon this Christmas, rest easy; those leftovers certainly won’t go to waste!
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