When we are in Suffolk at the weekend we often eat out in one of the many local pus that serve excellent food. Its our reward for a day spent gardening or doing DIY.
If we order a starter one of my favourites, which I often see now, is Ham Hock Terrine. It has been some time since I last made a terrine so I decided I would give it a go. Off I went to the local butchers to buy my ham hocks (a cured bone in ham from the lower part of the rear leg) which were selling two for £5. Now that is what I call a bargain.
To make the terrine takes a bit of time, but most of that is cooking and setting so its not too hands on and is really quite easy.
The ham hocks are first boiled until very tender and the meat is falling off the bone. The meat is then stripped and broken into shreds, discarding any fat, sinews and skin.
Next it's packed into a loaf tin or terrine dish along with some additional flavourings and set with a little jelly made from the stock.
Once set, it is turned out and cut into slices to serve. Accompanied with some fresh bread or toast, a few pickled vegetables or chutney (try Mr B's Award Winning Rhubarb Chutney) and a salad garnish, it makes a simple, economical starter for a dinner party.
It also makes a great lunch time dish and would not look put of place on a party buffet table or at a picnic. I'm seriously thinking of making it this Christmas instead of my more usual glazed gammon.
Ham Hock Terrine
- 2 x 1.5 kg ham hocks
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 sheets gelatine
- 100 g gherkins, finely chopped (dill pickles)
- black pepper, to taste
- 15 g parsley, chopped
- chopped gherkin and parsley
- Place the ham hocks in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover.
- Add the onion, celery, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, coriander, cumin seeds and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered for about 3 hours until the meat is very tender and starts to fall off the bone.
- Remove the two ham hocks from the stock and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Strain the stock into a clean pan and boil until reduced to about 600ml (1pint).
- Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft. Squeeze out the excess water and stir into the hot stock. Allow to cool. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with cling film.
- Once the hocks are cool enough to handle remove the skin and shred the meat, discarding any fat and sinews. This is easiest to do with your hands. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the chopped gherkins and parsley and season with black pepper. Toss to combine. Pack into the lined loaf tin.
- Slowly pour the stock into the tin. You may not need all of it. Cover with cling film and chill overnight.
- To serve, Turn out onto a serving plate and decorate with some chopped gherkins and parsley.