Easy catering for a crowd: gammon pita pockets

We’ve created this gammon pita recipe with cucumber pickle and red cabbage slaw with that lovely time between Christmas and New Year in mind or even for those of you who have to cater for a crowd for Christmas. It’s also a great way to use up leftover Christmas ham, and an even better way to entertain. Invite a group of friends over, hand them some cold bubbly in one hand and a pita in the other (or lay the table so that they can make their own) and you have yourself a great party.


I think everyone has a mustard recipe from their Ouma, this is mine. It’s sweet and tangy and delicious on everything, but especially on gammon.


Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: ± 2 hours | Serves: 12 people (1 pita per person) or 24 ( half each)

For the gammon:
1.5–2 kg raw, deboned gammon
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped roughly into 2 cm rounds
2 long celery sticks, chopped roughly into 2 cm pieces
2 medium white onions – peeled and quartered
4 fresh or dried bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 heaped Tbsp of English Mustard Powder

For Oumas mustard:
4 XL eggs
90 ml (6 Tbsp) white sugar
40 ml (8 tsp) English Mustard Powder
½ cup white wine vinegar
2.5 ml (½ tsp) sea salt

For the cucumber pickle:
1 whole cucumber, made into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
30 ml (2 Tbsp) white wine vinegar
15 ml (1 Tbsp) castor sugar
2 ml sea salt
2 ml ground black pepper

For the red cabbage slaw:
1 small red cabbage, finely shredded
3 large Granny Smith apples, sliced into 1 cm fingers
½ small pineapple, finely diced
½ a red onion, finely diced
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) cumin seeds, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
30 ml (2 Tbsp) fresh lemon juice
30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil

For the pita breads:
12 wholewheat pita breads, toasted and halved


1. Place the gammon, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and mustard powder in a large pot.
2. Fill with enough water to just cover the gammon and place on the stove on a medium-high heat.
3. Bring the pot to the boil then turn down to a slow boil. Allow the gammon to cook for half an hour for every 500 g of weight.
4. While the gammon is cooking, prepare the mustard.
5. Place all the mustard ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Beat well until thoroughly combined.
6. Place on the stove on a medium heat and allow to slowly thicken. Stir continuously. Be careful that the mixture does not boil, the eggs will curdle. Cook until the mixture thickly coats a spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
7. To make the cucumber pickle, combine all the ingredients and allow to infuse.
8. Once the gammon is cooked, remove the netting and the skin and trim off the excess fat. Set aside to cool.
9. While the gammon is cooling, combine all the red cabbage slaw ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
10. Once the gammon is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

To assemble the pitas, take a halved pita, open the pocket, spread a nice dollop of mustard onto both sides, top with gammon, slaw and pickled cucumber. Serve stacked onto a beautiful serving tray with extra mustard on the side to dip the pitas into. Alternatively, put all the ingredients into small serving bowls and let your guests assemble their own.

Serve with some cold bubbly!


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