Jane-Anne talks about her recipe – I’m excited to share this recipe with you because it’s so quick and surprisingly delicious. It takes about eight minutes to cook from start to finish, and I eat it at least three times a week because I’m smitten by Woolies’ tender-stem broccoli, which has become one of the mainstays of my low-carb regime.
I’ve always loved broccoli, but it’s become something of an obsession since I cut out carbs. I find tender-stem broccoli utterly scrumptious – up there with fresh asparagus – and as far as I know it’s available only from Woolworths. If you can’t find it, use small florets of ordinary broccoli for this dish.
This recipe serves one, but you can easy double or quadruple it. Please use a large, shallow pan that allows for fast reduction (a big wok will do).
Although this recipe contains a considerable amount of cream – so allowed on a low-carb, high-fat diabetic regime – its main ingredients are good for you, provided you use top-quality lean gammon steak, with all visible fat trimmed away. You can use Greek yoghurt instead of cream – please see my Cook’s Notes at the end of the recipe.
The gammon adds a lovely smoky, caramelised note to the sauce, and I wouldn’t consider making this dish without it. If you’re not a pork eater, you might try this with a fillet of firm-fleshed white linefish, but I don’t think it will taste as good.
I had to leave brined green peppercorns out of the recipe title because they would have made it too long, but I urge you to try them in this dish – they add a wonderful warm peppery pop and pull all the flavours together.
Quick Low-Carb Gammon Steak with Tender-Stem Broccoli, Garlic & Cream
1 lean gammon steak, all visible fat trimmed away
1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
12 spears tender-stem broccoli
4 Tbsp (60 ml) water
1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
milled black pepper, to taste
Pat the gammon steak dry on kitchen paper. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan, over a high heat. When the oil is just beginning to shimmer, fry the gammon steak on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until its underside is brown and caramelised.
In the meantime, cut the broccoli spears crossways into thirds.
Turn the steak over. Now add the broccoli to the pan, arranging it around the edges of the gammon steak, and pour in the water. Cover immediately with a lid (or with an upturned plate, if your frying pan doesn’t have a lid).
Turn down the heat and cook at a brisk bubble for 3-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is just tender when you poke the thickest stalk with the tip of a sharp knife. If you’ve covered the pan with a plate, please be very careful when you lift it off, as you risk an excruciating steam burn (see Cook’s Notes, below.)
If the pan looks a little dry, add another splash of water.
While the broccoli is cooking, combine the grated garlic, mustard, crushed peppercorns and cream in a small bowl.
When the broccoli is tender, take off the lid, turn up the heat and pour in the garlic/cream mixture. It will bubble furiously and immediately turn a caramel colour at the edges. Toss the pan energetically while it does so, not taking your eye off it for a moment, and let it bubble for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the cream has thickened and the sting has gone out of the garlic.
If you haven’t used green peppercorns in the dish, add a few generous grinds of black pepper. The sauce shouldn’t need any salt, as gammon is salty enough in its own right.
Remove from the heat and add a small spritz of lemon – just enough to add a whisper of acidity. Serve immediately.
You can serve the gammon steak whole, or slice it into strips or cubes, as shown in the picture below.
If you’ve covered your frying pan with a plate, use a fork to lift up its edge, which will allow puffs of steam to escape. Or wrap a thick dishcloth around your hand as you lift the plate away.
You can use thick Greek yoghurt in place of cream, but be sure to add it to the pan a few tablespoons at a time, over a low heat. When the yoghurt is hot and slightly reduced, remove the pan from the heat and stir in a little lemon juice.
This recipe also works beautifully with thinly sliced baby marrows [aka courgettes or zucchini].
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Jane-Anne Hobbs is a food writer de luxe. Recipe developer and photographer, she has written a stunning cookbook Scrumptious, click here to read my review. Always on the look out for low carb dishes, she has latterly come up with some stunners. When she is not in her kitchen Jane-Anne runs one of South Africa’s most successful food websites and Facebook page – http://www.whatsfordinner.co.za/
CLICK HERE to go to her website.