For a bargain joints you really cannot beat a gammon hock ( smoked or unsmoked) less than £2 a piece.
They do need some slow low cooking to ensure the flakiest meat and rich stock. In winter you can use it to make a rib-sticking Split Pea and Ham Soup , however gammon hock can also be wonderful as cold meat in summer either make into a terrine or served with salad or a light risotto
How to cook a gammon hock
1 gammon hock
Enough hot water to cover the hock
1 medium onion cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic
1 stick of celery
1 tsp of pepper corns
Herbs (Any of thyme , savory)
- Remove the skin/fat from the gammon hock
- Place the gammon hock in a large pan or slow cooker
- Add the onion, garlic , celery peppercorns & herbs
- Pour over the water
- Cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer
- Simmer for 3 hours ( or put the slow cooker on high for 4 hours)
- You will be left with a gammon hock for flaking and once strained a rich ham stock
Using the gammon stock
Spring Vegetable Salad
The ham stock is really nice for poaching vegetables to make a hot or cold vegetable salad to serve with the flaked gammon.
- Simmer the carrots, spring turnips and peas in the stock until softened ( Add the peas for the last few minutes only).
- Mix the cooked vegetables with fresh herbs ( mint and savory) , ground black pepper, olive oil , Dijon mustard , lemon juice and zest.
- Serve hot or cold mixed with the flaked gammon.
With fresh peas you can use the pea pods combined with the ham to create a rich stock for risottos . I loves Peas in risotto and have made a Crab and Pea Risotto before in summer but this gammon risotto is tasty and bright.
Gammon and Pea Risotto
200g of risotto rice
2 pints of ham stock
1 carrier bag of fresh peas
Half the meat from the gammon hock
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp of butter
- Simmer the pea pods with the ham stock for 20 minutes with the lid on
- Puree the stock and pea pods
- Strain the stock using a seive.
- Make the stock up to 2 pints using wam water
- Fry the onion and garlic in the butter til soften
- Add the risotto rice and stir well
- Slowly add the hot stock a ladle at a time stirring constantly
- For the last 5 minutes stir in the peas and gammon