I'm not a big gin drinker but have occasionally enjoyed a gin and tonic if there's a decent twist of lime, but sloe gin is something I don't really drink - though I do have a bottle of homemade sloe gin in the cupboard that my friend Jane gave me, and it's almost empty, so it obviously got drunk at some point!
The theme for this month's Baking with Spirit is gin, and I knew I'd eaten a few restaurant meals that used sloe gin in a savoury sauce, and decided I wanted to do something similar. My parents were visiting and we'd discussed what they wanted to eat for dinner and settled on gammon steaks, and I decided that a sloe gin sauce would work well with the gammon.
I had a look online for some recipes but ended up not really following one properly and kind of making it up as I went along, though it was pretty simple. Here's what you need to do:
1. Get your mum to cook the gammon steaks and make some mashed potato while you're on your way home from work (!)
2. Pour about 100ml of sloe gin into a pan and add half a beef stock cube and about 100ml of water
3. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble
4. Add about 50 ml double cream
5. Turn down the heat and cook until thickened
6. Serve over gammon, though this would also go well with other meats.
I also got the chance to use a really nifty little gadget my boyfriend bought me for my birthday (or was it last Christmas?). It's an auto-stirrer, so you stand it in a pan of sauce, switch it on and you can go off and do other things without needing to stand over the pan and constantly stir.
It's a great little gadget - it needs four AA batteries and is quite small so will fit even in the smallest pan. It stands upright and has four silicon feet at the bottom so it won't scratch your pan. You switch it on and it rotates and moves around in the pan, to stop your sauce sticking. It's absolutely perfect for anyone who is as impatient as me - I can never be bothered to stand over a pan and stir so often come back to find my sauce has started to stick!
Adding the cream to the sauce
Back in with the auto-stirrer
And here's the sauce poured over the gammon. It was really nice, if you've not had sloe gin before I would liken this more to a red wine sauce than normal gin, and it was nice and creamy and just the right consistency.
I'm sending this to Baking with Spirit, hosted by Janine at Cake of the Week, as the theme this month is gin. Shame I didn't get a chance to make a cake this month - I've made gin and tonic cupcakes before, which had tonic water in the cake and gin in the icing, which were really nice!