Pre Christmas Feasting with Parma Ham


Think Parma ham’s only good for sandwiches? Demi Perera says think again!

Christmas always comes earlier than we can all agree on. One thing I am happy to concede is that preparations must start early. Whilst it is NOT OK to decorate your home before 1st December food preparation must start early. My grandmother would soak dried fruit in brandy as early as October to be used in the Christmas pudding.

So, in keeping with this tradition of early food prep I attended a very festive Parma Ham cookery course at The Good Housekeeping Institute. Renowned chef and recipe developer Bridget Colvin of Michel Roux Jr cookery school Cactus Kitchens had created simple seasonal recipes using Parma Ham which I, for one, will definitely recreate for my family.

A starter of pumpkin soda bread bruschetta topped with roasted butternut squash, chestnuts and Parma Ham was an absolute delight to behold. It was simple to create and gorgeous to look at. This one will not only be a crowd pleaser but a sure fire star on the festive table.

The mains of pork Wellington refreshed with Parma Ham was prepared and served with cranberry, red cabbage and rosemary potatoes. It would suit as a more than sufficient alternative for those who are not fans of turkey. The crispy outer layers combined with the moist pork loin wrapped in Parma Ham is a winning combination especially as it is rolled in soaked wild mushrooms before being encased in pastry.

My favourite of all was the vanilla and clementine panacotta served with figs and a honey glazed Parma Ham crisp. Figs are a wonderfully decorative fruit and they worked incredibly well aesthetically in this combination.

So if you thought that a ham sandwich was the best we could do with Parma Ham it is most certainly time to think again.

Find out more at

The Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School is located at  21 – 25 St Anne’s Court, W1F 0BJ.

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