I always love enjoying a full or half ham at Christmas. The best part is working out how to use the leftovers, whether it be in a pie, quiche, or my personal favourite – a toastie. But who said a whole or half ham should just be for a special occasion or a one off at Christmas? It’s actually a much more sustainable way to buy ham, rather than individual packets which are often loaded with plastic and not environmentally friendly.
One of my favourite hams I have discovered recently is Barkly Smokehouse’s award winning Grandmother Ham, a fully boned leg which is hand trimmed and tied with the skin left over, then smoked over German beech to give it a delicious subtle smokey flavour. The ham has been awarded a Gold Medal at the Royal Melbourne Show 2014 as well as being awarded best Australian Boneless Ham and best overall Australian Ham at the inaugural Australian Pork Mark Ham Awards for Excellence.
There are some other brands that call their ham Grandmother Ham, but Grandmother Ham is a registered trade mark of Barkly Smokehouse. Barkly Smokehouse was formed in the mid 1950’s by Polish immigrants who manufactured and sold wholesale European smallgoods to polish delicatessens around Melbourne as well as retailing their smallgoods at their shop in Barkly Street, Footscray (where the name Barkly came from). Over 60 years later, Barkly Smokehouse now distributes to delicatessens, IGA supermarkets and quality food stores around Australia.
The Grandmother Ham is perfect for ham sandwiches, in salads or equally delicious on it’s own or glazed or baked. But my favourite way to serve it is layered in a French inspired toasted sandwich – the Croque Monsieur. The ham gives the sandwich a delicate smokey flavour, the perfect pair to the gooey bechamel sauce and melted gruyere cheese.
Hope you enjoy the recipe!
- Bechamel Sauce
- 125ml milk
- 125ml cream
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 20g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Croque Monsieur
- 4 thick sliced of white sourdough bread
- 15g Butter, melted
- 1 tsp Djon Mustard
- 100g gruyere, grated
- 150g of shaved Barkly Smokehouse Grandmother Ham
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- To make the béchamel sauce, combine the milk, cream, garlic, bay leaf and onion in a small saucepan over a medium heat, Stir frequently and cook until it reaches a gentle boil. Turn the heat off and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Pass the sauce through a sieve if desired.
- In a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook over a gentle heat. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking frequently and bring to a gentle boil until thick and creamy then add the Dijon mustard, nutmeg and some seasoning.
- Toast bread lightly then brush each side with melted butter. Add a thin layer of of Dijon to one side then top with a generous layer of the béchamel sauce, grated gruyère, then the shaved ham. Top with the other slice of bread then top sandwich with with another layer of bechamel and grayed gruyere.
- Bake sandwiches in the oven for 10-15 mins until golden and cheese is melted.