Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Serves

    4–6

Appears in

Recipes from Brixton Village

Recipes from Brixton Village

By Miss South

Published 2014

  • About
Cornercopia

This is a classic English dish. It is well worth the time and effort, especially if you are a confident cook. It is perfect on a warm summer’s day as a cold lunch.

You should be able to get ham hocks from all good non-halal butchers. The pigs’ trotters are used to flavour and enhance the gelatine around the meat, but aren’t eaten. Try to use leaves of gelatine for this recipe: it is known as ‘silver gelatine’ and has a firmer set than the powdered version. It is usually available in the baking section of any supermarket.

Ingredients

  • 1 ham hock, preferably smoked (about 1kg)
  • 2 pigs’ trotters, scrubbed clean
  • 1 good handful of parsley (about half a large bunch)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 strip of lemon peel
  • 250 ml good quality dry cider
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 leaves silver or leaf gelatine

Method

Soak the ham hock overnight in cold water to remove any excess salt.

The next day place the hock and pigs trotters in a pot and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil for 4 or 5 minutes, simmer for the same time again, and then drain and rinse in fresh cold water.

Pick the parsley leaves off the stalks and set aside 50 g of them. Reserve the stalks.

Now, once again, put the drained hock and trotters in a large pan or stockpot and this time add the parsley stalks, whole carrot, bay leaf, cloves, lemon peel and half of the cider. Then top up the pot with cold water until the ingredients are just covered and bring to a steady simmer for 3–3½ hours. Add water as necessary and, from time to time, remove any scum that appears with a slotted spoon.

Add the whole shallots when you have about an hour left of cooking time, to keep them relatively firm.

When the meat is falling away from the bone, turn off the heat and let everything cool down in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove the hock, shallots and carrots with a slotted spoon and place them on a tray to cool down further. Do not discard the stock.

Using very clean or, better still, gloved hands remove all the cooled meat from the bones, keeping it fairly chunky. Discard any sinew, veins or gristle along with the trotters themselves. Dice the carrots and shallots and add to the meat.

Blanch the picked parsley leaves in boiling water for 20 seconds, refresh in iced water, and drain and squeeze them well until all the liquid is gone (this will keep their colour). Chop the parsley leaves finely and toss with the meat, carrots and shallots. Mix in the mustard, together with 100 ml of the reserved stock.

Pass the rest of the stock through a fine strainer or muslin cloth into a clean pan. Boil hard to reduce until you only have around 350ml left, and then stir in the remaining cider. You will need to skim any froth from the stock, or you can strain it again through a second piece of clean muslin or a fine sieve.

Bring the stock to a simmer. Meanwhile soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until softened. Squeeze out any excess water and stir them into the stock with a whisk until they melt. Take your stock off the heat at this point as overcooking the gelatine stops it setting. Let it cool for 15 minutes or so. Line a 2 lb loaf tin or terrine mould with food-grade cling film. This will make it easier to remove the terrine for serving and is much less stressful than shaking the tin or dipping it into hot water to loosen it. Set the tin on a tray. Fill with the meat mixture, levelling it off neatly, and then carefully pour in the gelatine stock until the tin is well filled (you may not need it all). Place the tray in the fridge overnight to set.

Unmould the terrine and enjoy in slices with cornichons, hot mustard and a glass of vintage cider.