Prepare the carrot and onion. Wash, but don't worry about peeling the carrot.
Place a large pot with a lid or cast iron casserole on a medium heat,
Add the peppercorns and heat until they become very fragrant.
Place your onion, carrot, bay leaves, salt and water into the pot and stir to make sure all the peppercorns are dislodged from the bottom.
Place your gammon with any string in the center of the pot and cook for 20 minutes per 450g (1lb).
Whack up the heat to high and wait to boil. Once it's reached a rolling boil turn down the heat and leave to simmer.
About halfway through the cook preheat your oven to 190* (Gas 5)
Once your ham has finished boiling, carefully remove from the pot and let cool slightly. This bit is gonna be a bit sticky.Remove the string and with a sharp utility or paring knife, remove the skin leaving as much of the fat as you can.
Line a baking tray with foil (you'll thank me later) and once the skin has been removed, score the fat deeply in a crisscross and place on the tray, fat side up.
Pour about a third of the maple syrup gently over the ham, using a pastry brush to coat evenly.
Place the ham in the oven and keep an eye until those delicious black bits begin to form. Remove the ham from the oven and as before brush the maple syrup all over, don't be afraid to dip the brush in the syrup on the bottom of the tray. By now this will have gone quite"treacle". This is all just flavour. Keep repeating this until you're satisfied the ham is how you want it. I like mine quite dark and sticky so I repeated this every 10 minutes and about 4 times. When you're finished, remove the ham from the tray and place on a plate. Add one final brush of the syrup from the bottom of the tray just for that extra glisten.
You can carve this right away but be warned, you will try some and you'll keep going back for more.