Ham hock terrine is a rustic French classic; a mosaic of slow-cooked ham, veg and parsley bound together by a savoury jelly. Hock is an inexpensive meat cut and just requires a slow cook to undo its toughness. Once set, simply slice and serve with fresh bread as a tasty snack or starter. A bonus is that you can store it in the fridge for up to a week (but it’s so deliciously pickable you’ll struggle to keep it that long!).
Smoked ham knuckle x 2 (each around 1kg in weight)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
2 small shallots
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp cocktail gherkins
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
To cook the ham hock
- Place the ham knuckles into a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for an hour then replenish with fresh water. (This removes any excess salt that’s been added during the smoking process.)
- Bring the knuckles to the boil, adding an onion halved, a stick of celery, a carrot, some parsley stalks and about 12 black pepper corns. (This group of veg is known as a miripoix, bringing out the best flavour is certain meats and fish.)
- Simmer with a lid for around 2 hours until the small bone perturbing from the meat can be removed with ease. (This is the sign the meat is cooked throughout.)
- Half an hour before the end of cooking add 2 more carrots split down the middle and blanch one leek for a few minutes until cooked. Cool immediately in water.
- When the knuckles are ready remove from the water and leave to cool. Pass the stock through a sieve into another pan, keeping the fresh carrots but discarding the other veg. Keep around 1 litre and reduce by half over a high heat. (This forms the jelly between the meat which helps hold the terrine together. The natural gelatin from the knuckles are enough to set.)
To assemble the terrine
- Remove the meat from both knuckles using your hands. Throw away the outer skin but keep a little of the fat. Cut this finely and add this to the meat. (The fat helps to moisten the meat.)
- Add the chopped parsley and mix well. Check for seasoning but it shouldn’t need much if any.
- Line your terrine mould with two lavers of clingfilm and start by layering the bottom with meat. Line a split carrot and leek on top and build up again with the meat. Repeat again with the veg and finish off with meat.
- Making sure the terrine is well compressed and then pour over the stock until it just covers the meat.
- Enclose the terrine with the flaps of clingfilm and place in the fridge for a few hours to set.
- Boil the eggs for 10 minutes then cool instantly under running water. Peel the shells when cold.
- Cut the eggs into a small dice or grate very finely.
- Cut the herbs and capers and then roughly chop the gherkins.
- Mix everything together in a bowl and season. Moisten with olive oil and its ready to serve.
- Remove the terrine from the clingfilm and cut slices from it. Its best with fresh warm bread and a spoonful of the gribiche.