Listen, it’s not that I don’t love animals, I just love them more when they’re dead. Basting a corpse and feeding it to your friends and family is way more extreme than veganism, and I’m not interested in having my sweaty meat hallucinations interrupted by ethical farming or Smiths fans.
If there's one critter in particular that has a special place in my heart, it's the pig. When I was little—before I could eat solid food, had met a social worker, or developed a social gauze of decorum—I almost choked to death trying to eat pulled pork like a boa constrictor. It’s been an unbreakable bond ever since.
Actually, according to a fact I just made up, it’s the smell of pig being cooked that’s most likely to turn a vegetarian into the kind of person who doesn’t think it’s that bad to napalm the Amazon—provided there will eventually be a LOT of juicy farm animals grazing on the scorched earth.
Candied Ham and Marshmallows
Clearly, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a spit-roast on a summer’s day, but I don’t own a garden, or a four-foot skewer, so I have to get my pig intake from, like, 24 rashers of bacon. But when that just isn’t enough, the next step is cooking a whole ham. And the step after that is cooking it covered in sweeties.
There is no possible way to fuck up a candied ham joint. Even if you cooked it in Natty Ice it wouldn’t taste gross. So, if bacon is the training bra of pig cooking, this is that first Marks & Spencer thong of pig cooking.
This candied ham is also an Easter and Nochebuena tradition in my house, because there is no better way of celebrating your affinity with Jesus than cooking the shit out of some filthy pig and sticking it to the Semites!
1 - cured ham joint
1 - liter or so of Pepsi
3 - tablespoon treacle / honey / marmalade… whatever
1 - tablespoon brown sugar
1 - tablespoon mustard
1 - tablespoon ketchup
Lots of marshmallows
Fill the pot with just enough Pepsi to cover your piggy and bring to boil. After that, it needs to simmer in its fat slush and fizzy pop bath for about a half an hour per pound. This will ensure it tastes like something out of a child's wildest Technicolor fantasy. Once it’s done, take it out to rest.
Mix up your glaze. To do this you just slop all the treacle, ketchup, and mustard together before adding the brown sugar till it's like Polyfilla. I wouldn't even bother mixing it too thoroughly, it's all going to look like engine oil once it's been in the oven. Before you spread it, slice the rind off so you’ve got a nice layer of fat to slap your sweeties on. Now you can lather that bitch up.
Finally, smush some marshmallows into the gunk and blast your piggy for 20 minutes in a hot oven. For years, Britain has been too snobbish to understand the beauty of gelatin, corn syrup, and angel poos all mashed together and then melted. So I owe this one to you, Uncle Sam. If you Americans should be celebrated for anything, it's your championing of the marshmallow.
Once it's cooked it may look like your ham’s been panty sneezed, but it will taste like Caramacs made of pig. Which is amazing.
Now clear your schedule for the rest of the day and enjoy. You deserve it! Plus, you’ll probably be so constipated, the sedimentary formation of limestone will seem like a rocket-powered meteor shower. For a real heroes lunch, eat it in your pants with a side of mac n’ cheese and weep openly at the beauty of pig meat.