Saturday 22 December 2018

Day 26 - Done

Today was a bit of a tough day macros wise. I normally write the menu and reverse engineering that back into a macros for each day on a Saturday morning. However with today being the Saturday before Christmas, I didn’t want to be shopping in the height of the madness and I copied and pasted days from last week so I could be out of the door by 8 am. Even that didn’t isolate me from the legions of people, it was still mayhem.

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Today I cooked my Christmas ham. I always look forward to my Christmas ham.

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This year I opted for a mustard and pepper glaze. You can see that I’ve doubled up on the mustard. The first application was done onto the last layer of fat and then grilled so it caramelised and charred. Then, as it was cooling I applied another layer that has given it the yellow taint. It’s delicious. A little too delicious actually; cooking (and tasting) this ham is what made my macros so hard to manage.

A ham comes with a thin layer of skin and a thick layer of fat and it must be cooked in a few distinct stages to give it maximum-hamness. In the first stage, I wrapped it in foil and allowed it to cook (and steam) in its own juices for about an hour in a 220º degree oven.

The next stage is to remove it from the oven, strip the top layer of skin and leave a thick layer of fat. This fat is scored and then a copious application of the glaze is applied. Back into the oven it goes for 30 mins per 500g. As this was a 4kg ham, it was in four hours.

Once this stage is done, the ceremonial ham is nearly done. If were just me eating this ham then I’d stop here. I do love animal fats (especially when salted) and I’ve love a good inch of fat on my ham. However, Mrs Curle does not share my love of fat. In fact she hates it and so the fat must be trimmed and burned off.

So the final stage for my ham-of-yule is to remove the thick layer of delightfully browned tasty glaze and to do discard it. By discard I mean eat about one third and to discard the other two-thirds into the bin. Finally, more glaze is applied to this very thin layer of fat and it’s popped under a high grill for about five mins until the fat has melted and caramelised.

The final touch is to smother the remaining glaze on and allow it to cool.

It was the love of fat that made my macros hard to balance out, so I have accounted for this impromptu fat-fest by logging the items as ham and oil. I was eating pure fat so oil is about the closest approximation I could think up. To compensate I reduced the amount of stuff in my evening meal and whilst I’m about 300 calories north of my goal I am still under my BMR. This experience gave me a chance to “navigate without numbers” and to use my own senses to determine how much to eat for dinner. It worked out well.