Ham hock, mustard fruits and fresh herb sauce

Matt Tebbutt slow-cooks this cheaper cut of pork and serves it with a punchy herb sauce for the most delicious results
By Matt Tebbutt
Ham hock, mustard fruits and fresh herb sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 2 salted ham hock, about 1.5kg each
  • 4 sticks celery, trimmed and cut in 3 widthways
  • 3 carrots, cut in half lengthways
  • 2 large white onions, halved
  • 1 bulb garlic, cut in half
  • 1 sprig bay leaf
  • 1 handful stalks parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 100 g mostarda di frutta, from a jar or bottle, sliced or chopped if large, to serve

For the fresh herb sauce

  • 1 bunch tarragon, chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped
  • 1 bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 red onion, diced

Method

1. Put the ham hocks in a very large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute and scoop off any scum then remove and change the water. Cover again in cold water and repeat the process twice more. This will rid the ham of any excess salt.

2. Cover the hocks with fresh water in the pan, throw in the vegetables along with the garlic and all the herbs and spices, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 hours to 2 and a half hours or until the small bone at the top of the hocks can be pulled free. Remove from the heat and allow the ham to cool in the stock until they are cool enough to handle.

3. To make the herb sauce, wash and chop the herbs. Whisk the vinegar, mustard and about 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil together in a bowl. Stir in the herbs, capers and onion. Season and add more olive oil to bind if necessary. Allow to mingle at room temperature for a while to improve the flavours.

4. When the hams are cool enough to handle, pick over the meat and remove excess fat and sinew. Keep the meat in nice big chunks, do not shred. Set aside.

5. Strain the ham cooking liquor through a fine-meshed sieve. Pour 800-900ml of it into a medium saucepan and boil to reduce by about half, about 15 minutes, to concentrate the flavours. (It can be cooled and kept in the fridge until required.)

6. When ready to serve, simply heat the reduced stock and put the ham in it. Simmer for a few minutes and serve with some mustard fruits and a spoonful of the herb sauce.

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