Ham hoc Pot au Feu

I always get excited when spring arrives with sunshine, warmer weather and lots of fresh and light vegetables. Every time I go past the veg mongers I get tempted by something! We went to see some friends in Hampton Hill and I took the opportunity to go and see Robson’s Butcher, they are the best! They didn’t have any pork or beef cheeks but I picked up a couple of gammon ham hocs. I was so happy and I made sure I didn’t forget them when we left!

The ham hoc meat is simply delicious, I like to gently simmer it for a long time and then it gets so tender it falls off the bone. I usually cook them in the oven but my cast iron pots are still packed from the move so I did this on the cooker. Slow cooking is very easy, as long as you are around to keep an eye on things. It is important to make sure the stock never boils just simmers or it won’t be as clear.

 

Ham Hoc Pot au Feu

preparation time 15 minutes

cooking time 2 hr

serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 gammon ham hoc
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1 handful of radishes
  • 1/2 spring cabbage
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 1 handful of french beans
  • 1 red pepper
  • new potatoes
  • 1 whole garlic cut in half
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 chunk of ginger, half cut in chunks and half cut in to shreds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt to taste

Peel and chop the veg, they should be quite chunky.

 

13May_Veg

 

 

Place the ham hoc in a pot with cold water and bring it to the boil. Once boiled remove the ham hoc, rinse it and, clean the pot and do it again. I did this twice to get rid of impurities and it leaves very little to skim during the remaining cooking.

For the stock I used 1 carrot, roughly chopped, 1 celery stick, 1 garlic, cut in half, a small piece of ginger and a quartered onion. Add peppercorns, the cinnamon stick and 2 star anise, add the ham hoc and heat everything until it simmers, then turn the heat down low and let it simmer for 1 hour.

 

Set the rest of the vegetables aside for later.

I wanted a very clear broth so after 1 hour I sieved the stock thought a muslin cloth. I added the ham hoc back with the stock and here are my timings for the remaining vegetables, as the water is just simmering and not boiling I find that the vegetables are cooking slightly slower. I took the garlic cloves out of the skin and set them aside to add back later but they didn’t need any more cooking.

Straight away add the carrot, celery, shredded ginger and potatoes

After 30 minutes add the cabbage

After 45 minutes add the french beans

Give the radishes and the pepper 5 minutes and add the spinach last minute and just let it wilt before serving.

 

I was reading a book whilst waiting for the food to cook and it was an ideal companion. I took the meat off the bone and as I haven’t unpacked my soup bowls either I served it in normal bowls! It was needed as we ate lots of it! The broth had the warming notes of cinnamon and star anise, the heat from the ginger and the flavor of the meat and the veg. It was so light and full of flavor and textures it is one of my favorite and perhaps most comforting dishes.

 

13May_PotAuFeu

 

I have added this to the talented and inspiring Javelin Warrior’s blog challenge Made With Love Mondays, all about cooking from scratch!

 

MadeWithLove

 

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Comments
2 Responses to “Ham hoc Pot au Feu”
  1. I love soups like this – a little bit of everything and so much veggie goodness. Ham hocs have so much flavor to be coaxed out and the slow-cooker seems like a perfect way to make it happen. Perfect for a Sunday dinner…

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