Gammon & cockles on toast

Gammon and cockles is a match made in heaven, and together on toast delivers the same comforting joy as a mother’s open arms.

Serves 4



  1. Thoroughly wash cockles of sand and grit under running cold water with some vigorous shaking.
  2. In a large pot that owns a lid heat the alcohol until simmering.
  3. Add the cockles and put the lid on.
  4. Cook over a high heat, stirring the cockles after a minute.
  5. Cook to only just opened as they will be cooked again briefly.
  6. Drain cockles into a colander over a bowl, retaining the ESSENTIAL juice and leave to cool on one side.
  7. Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the gammon until lightly browned but taking care not to burn the butter.
  8. Remove the gammon from the pan on to a side plate leaving the fat in the pan.
  9. Cook the onions in the butter with a good grating of black pepper, the thyme and nutmeg stirring regularly until onions are cooked to totally tender.
  10. Sift in flour and stirring constantly, cook it for a minute or so.
  11. Start adding all the cockle juice, stirring often as you go with a small whisk. Add the juice through a fine sieve and don’t pour in the last bit which will probably display sand (this is common with cockles).
  12. The consistency of the sauce wants to look like thick pouring double cream.
  13. Stir in the cream and follow with the ham then simmer slowly until the above consistency is achieved again.
  14. Pick cockles and discard shells.
  15. Make toast and butter.
  16. Stir in cockles and chopped parsley and simmer for no more than 20 seconds or so before spooning onto the toast.

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