Sourcing Tesco finest* dry-cured, roast ham


Charles Bowes: I've been farming pigs myself all my life. I've grown up with pigs; my father  was a pig farmer, my grandfather was a pig farmer as well so it's been my life and I'm sure it'll be my son's life as well. Yes, while a pig is happiest, it's going to do the job for you. It is their natural environment; digging, trying to find their food. If they were in the forest they'd be trying to find acorns, etcetera. But these are digging around for the food outside that we place on the floor over a spread area.

Simon Benning: Well, I'm a chef by trade, I was cooking since I was a little boy, this big. I've been curing meat ever since I was probably in my early 20s really. I was  experimenting, using all different types of ingredients so curing meat has always been a passion of mine. What we've got here is the piece of pork and that's been opened up here. All the internal bits of fat have been taken out and then what we do is we lovingly apply those lovely dry curing salts. In here we've got muscovado sugar and salt. We apply it over the leg, rubbing, making sure we rub it all into the muscles; really, really quite firmly, actually. The guys here at Walkers are all master butchers, they're all trained in their own right; breaking down the leg, ensuring the butchery is done to the best  it can possible be. Now what you can see here is the ham starting to sweat slightly and that's all the moisture from the pork coming out and all the salts going in with that sugar to give us the sweetness. We make sure that we put it through into a shape and we put it through our netting machine here. Once the ham is cooked, we can then roll it in the breadcrumbs by hand, by ensuring the crumb is distributed evenly over the ham before we come to  slice it. It's a traditional ham with a crumb finish. We've been working with Tesco for a number of years now and to develop a fantastic product we work alongside them with their guys to ensure that we end up with the best possible finest ham we can have.

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