Ham Hock Terrine

I simply love this rustic terrine. It has also got many other advantages: it is inexpensive, you will get 12 portions, costing approximately 50p each; it will be delicious; it can be prepared two days in advance and will look attractive with the cut slice displaying a mosaic of vegetables, herbs and ham. And no guilt because the ham terrine is virtually fat free.

Ham Hock Terrine

Ingredients Required

For the ham:
1 large (or 2 smaller) Ham Hocks, (approx 1.5kg)
1 Pig’s trotter, sliced down the length (optional: will add flavour and natural gelatine)
2L Cold water
2L Cold water 1 Bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 5g parsley, 2g thyme)
8 Black peppercorns
100g Carrot (*1) , cut in to 4 along its length
100g Celery sticks, cut in half width wise
100g White onion, peeled, cut into 6
1.5 Gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water to soften and then drain
40ml White wine vinegar
For the sousing liquor:
400ml Water
80ml White wine vinegar
90g Clear honey
1 Thyme sprig
1 Bay leaf
6 pinches Sea salt
2 pinches Freshly ground white pepper
For the sousing vegetables:
160g Baby onion, peeled with root intact
70g Cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 Tarragon sprig, whole
60g Gherkins, small, washed under cold water & drained
10g Dill, chopped

Cooking Method

Cooking the meat and vegetables

  1. Place the ham hocks and pig’s trotter in a large saucepan, cover with the cold water and bring to the boil for 1 minute, skimming to remove the impurities(*2). Turn down to a gentle simmer, add the bouquet garni and pepper corns and book for 3-4 hours (4 hours for large hocks), until the meat (*3)is tender enough to pull the small bone out of the meat.
  2. Add all the vegetables 45 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, strain through a sieve over a large bowl, separating the meat from the vegetables.
  3. Stir the softened gelatine and white wine vinegar in to the cooking liquor. Reserve. You will only need 400g of cooking liquor(*4) to set the terrine, any excess can be used as a wonderful simple soup or used as a broth with noodles etc.

Preparing the elements of the terrine

  1. Once the ham hocks have cooled slightly, place on a large chopping board, peel the rind and fat from the hock, both will come off very easily.
  2. Slice all the fat from the rind and discard and chop the rind in to 1cm pieces(*5). Flake the meat from the hock, reserving 3 large pieces following the muscles of the hock.
  3. Add the rind to the flaked meat. No additional seasoning should be necessary as the hock will have natural seasoning from its cure. Mix in the drained vegetables and chopped parsley. 

Building the terrine

  1. Line the inside of the terrine with 2 layers of cling film for extra support, ensuring that 10cm overlaps the sides and ends of the mould to wrap the terrine in once formed.
  2. Half fill the terrine with the meat and vegetable mixture, (reserving one third of the chopped meat and find for the top the mould), place the 3 pieces of meat end to end in the middle of the terrine, top with the remaining mixture and pour in enough of the warm cooking liquor to the level of the mixture(*6). 
  3. Lightly press so a thin layer of liquor covers the meat and vegetables. Gently fold the  overhanging cling film to cover the top and place in the fridge overnight for the gelatine to set the terrine(*7).

For the soused vegetables 

  1. In a large saucepan on a high heat, bring to the boil the water, vinegar, honey, thyme, bay and seasoning. 
  2. Add the onions and carrots and simmer gently for 20 minutes, add the cauliflower and tarragon, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat, add the  gherkins and cool as quickly as you can.
  4. Once cooled add the chopped Dill and store in airtight jars until needed.

To serve

Once the terrine has had time to set, gently remove from the mould and tightly wrap in two core layers of cling film so it will be easy to cut(*8). Slice the terrine into 12 slices, laying them onto a flat serving dish, removing the cling film as you do so. To serve, place the soused vegetables in a pot, or on the side of the plate and serve with a basket of freshly toasted pain de campagne.