Lifestyle

Nigel Slater’s recipe for grilled gammon, pineapple salsa

The recipe
Halve, stone and peel 1 just-ripe avocado. Cut the flesh into small dice, put it in a mixing bowl and moisten with a little lime juice.

Peel a 150g piece of cucumber, halve it lengthways and remove any large seeds and the watery core with a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into small dice and add to the avocado.

Peel 100g of pineapple and dice similarly, then toss with the avocado and cucumber.

Peel and very finely chop 1 small red onion, add to the bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Pick the leaves from a small bunch of coriander, to give a large handful of leaves. Add the leaves to the salsa with a little salt, and set aside in the fridge to chill.

Warm a ridged, cast-iron griddle over a moderate heat or heat an overhead oven grill. Season 2 large gammon steaks with a little pepper. No salt. Cook the gammon either way for 4 minutes until the fat is starting to turn translucent and golden, then turn and cook the other side. The meat is done when it springs back when pressed.

Remove the meat from the heat and rest for a minute or two. Pour any hot fat from the griddle pan or grill into the salsa and toss gently, then serve with the gammon steaks. Serves 2

The trick
The original 1960s recipe for “gammon and pineapple” used canned pineapple rings. The sweetness of the fruit was pleasing with the salty meat. In this updated version we use the hot juices from the meat to dress the salsa. It is worth making sure your gammon steaks have plenty of fat, so you can use it to toss the pineapple and avocado.

The twist
Pork steaks would work well here, too, in which case I suggest swapping the pineapple and avocado for plums and pea shoots. Some thin slices of fennel would also be good. The salsa doesn’t necessarily have to be tossed with coriander. Try mint or basil.