Ham hock, mustard and caper terrine
PUBLISHED: 13:36 07 August 2013 | UPDATED: 13:40 07 August 2013
For many families, Sunday lunch is the big meal of the week. However, as a child from the Fens, the weekend tea of cold cuts and cakes was always the highlight. That tradition still continues, after a shift cooking Sunday lunch at restaurant, I much prefer an array of cheeses, bread, pickles and charcuterie, together with a really crisp apple than a meal that’s taken an age to prepare.
A summer weekend tea would mean the table cloth on, the salads picked from the back garden, cakes from the bakery (Mum’s bake day was Sunday morning, so her efforts were replaced by shop bought on for Saturday tea), and cold cuts of ham, tongue, haslet and pork pies from the butcher. We’d watch the wresting, the final score, then the telly was switched off and we could tuck into the spread.
The excitement of the meal was always heightened by the big Saturday shop into March town centre. It would be the day out. We’d dress up in our best - it was the one day a week Dad would put on a tie - and follow the regular pattern of shopping for the week, with the added, very occasional, treat of maybe a record, fish and chips for dinner or, an ice-cream from Pocklingtons’ red and white van on the market.
During the few weeks of summer the whole family would be expected to contribute to the strawberry pick, after work or after school, as it was all hands on deck on the half-acre allotment. “Afters” would always be strawberries with Carnation, so at least there would be some perks to being forced to work! Nowadays, the pickled onions are replaced with marinated olives, the corned beef with breasola and the Pan Yan pickle with Balsamic onion marmalade, though secretly I’m sure most of us would prefer the 1970s’ offer!
This month’s recipe of pressed ham hock offers the best of both generations. It’s a classic that straddles food fashion, found on the French country tables for generations, it’s now on most restaurant menus in the sunnier months. Equally at home in a picnic basket as at a wedding breakfast, I’m sure it will become favourite throughout the summer, with chutneys, pickles and toasts.
Ham hock, mustard and caper terrine
Makes approximately 1 x 1kg terrine of loaf tin
2 x ham hocks (if smoked, soak them 24 hours in cold water, changing the water on several occasions)
1 teaspoon Colman’s mustard
6 spring onions
Big bunch flat leaf parsley
50g baby leaf spinach
1 dessert spoon capers
Milled black pepper
Bay leaf, thyme, parsley
1 Ingredients <Angi - ignore the numbering I’ll sort it on the page.>
2 Boil the ham hocks in plenty of water, along with the herbs (you could do this in a slow cooker or pressure cooker). The time is dependant on the size of the hocks, but will take approximately three hours. Cook until the meat falls from the bone.
3 Remove the ham hocks when cooked and allow to cool slightly.
4 Remove 500ml of the cooking liquor, add the cider and return to the boil. Simmer until amount reaches 250ml in total volume.
5 Pick the meat from the ham hocks.
6 Flake up, leaving the meat quite chunky.
7 Roughly chop the washed onions and parsley.
8 Wash and dry the spinach.
9 Add the spinach to the ham hock.
10 Add the onions and parsley.
11 Add the capers.
12 Coarsely mill in the black pepper.
13 Dissolve the mustard powder into the cider and stock reduction.
14 Add to the ham hock mixture, stir well.
15 Place into a lined terrine or loaf tin.
16 Press down to make the mixture compact.
17 Cover with cling film. press the meat and chill overnight. Slice and serve at room temperature.
Richard Hughes is chef proprietor of the Lavender House at Brundall and the Richard Hughes Cookery School. He is also director of The Pigs Pub at Edgefield and The Assembly House, Norwich, www.thelavenderhouse.co.uk www.richardhughescookeryschool.co.uk