Ham hock, parsley sauce and carrots

July 28, 2006

Hock, carrots and parsley

Maths chick is on school summer holidays. The implications for the quiet life of a gastropunk are serious. My sedate morning routine has been blown away in a whirlwind of juicing, knitting and frenetic breakfast activity. I am no longer lured slowly into wakefulness by the quietly insistent voice of John Humphries interogating some hapless junior minister. The living room is now be-decked with half-knitted cardies and the bathroom overflowing with freshly-dyed skirts. Yes, the domestic goddess is in her full pomp and majesty.

Returning from work, I reclaimed the kitchen after a hard-fought skirmish and cooked up another mini-feast I’ve been fantasizing about since coming back from market with a sturdy ham hock a couple of weeks ago. What could be more English than a combo of boiled pig, pasley sauce and summer carrots?

Hock, young carrots and parsley sauce

Ham hock, parsley sauce and carrots

1. I simmered the hock in water, with a couple of onions, some cloves and peppercorns for about 3 hours. Then I drained the stock off into a bowl, let the joint cool and bunged it in the fridge for a night or two. This evening I cut the meat off the bone into thick, rough slices. You could just use slices of supermarket ham if you prefer.

2. Made a thickish parsley sauce out of a bechamel made of half milk, half hock-stock and a couple of gulps of double cream. I think parsley sauce works best with an extravagant amount of finely-chopped curly parsley – none of your flat-leaved sophistication for this dish, thanks.

3. Just peeled the young carrots and boiled them whole. Didn’t need any salt because the bacon was salty enough.

4. Fried up some whole mushrooms in butter and oil. These had started to go dry so I added a few tablespoons of hock-stock halfway through which re-constituted them nicely and created a potent funghi-flavour.

5. Made mash. You know how you like it.

6. Served it all up and bolted it down with lashings of mustard, Famous Five style.

You can keep your tapa, antipasti, schnitzels, coq au vin, tabbuleh and saurkraut. Let’s hear it for good honest English fayre. Stand up, I say, and sing with one voice…. Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free, da-da-dada-da-daaaa, That are born of thee… dum da-da-da-daaa-da….

6 Responses to “Ham hock, parsley sauce and carrots”

  1. BB's Richard Says:

    All very well, but I’d take a big steaming plate of McSweens Haggis any day…. Oh Flower of Scotl…..

    PS must stop looking at food pictures while at work – makes me too hungry! (also I suppose I should really be working…)

  2. gastropunk Says:

    Doesn’t your company have rules about downloading food porn at work?

  3. Woodend Mum Says:

    I told you -maths chicks do knitting!

  4. academicmum Says:

    That looks delicious …..

    Isn’t Ham hock like the foody version of Blue Peter’s double stickyback plastic – i.e. only procurable in London town. Ah all those little houses I couldn’t make as a child growing up in the heart of the Irish countryside.

    Do you think butchers do that kind of thing down the country? I’m still a bit scared of butcher’s shops. You need to know what you want and be convinced they’ve got it before you go in there.

  5. gastropunk Says:

    academicmum, the only place I’ve seen ham hock to buy recently was at Islington farmer’s market. So, yes, it is a rare and difficult cut to find. Perhaps you could order it online somewhere? Try Graig farm – http://www.graigfarm.co.uk/pkpork.htm

    I’ve been looking for a good butcher who could supply this kind of cut in north London and not had much luck yet. And yes, they can be intimidating places to shop if you’re not sure exactly what you want.

    Or take a trip to London for the weekend, visit a farmer’s market and pick up some double-sided sticky tape while you’re hear. Never too late to build a little Blue Peter house.

  6. Eka Kolour Says:

    when they say it’s ove. Eka Kolour.

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