February 5th, 2009


Hog Shank and Savoy Cabbage Terrine

Boiling ham is time consuming but nothing beats the taste and flavour of freshly boiled ham. Working in restaurants I have had my fair share of making terrines of all shapes, sizes and flavours. Once I left the restaurants I did not want to leave my skills behind, so I still make terrines at home. This delicious Hog Shank and Savoy cabbage terrine is a true revelation.

An added benefit is that you end up with a delicious stock once the hog shank is cooked and the stock is ideal to be used to make soups and casseroles.

Hog shank ,better known as a ham knuckle, is basically the shank part of the hog’s or pig’s front legs without the trotters. Ham knuckle is widely available in most supermarkets and high street butchers. Make sure that you ask the butcher if the ham knuckle was cured in brine, if so, you need to soak the ham knuckle for one day in water to extract the salt. The last couple of times that I have bought a ham knuckle they were not cured. It seems to me that butchers do not do this any more as our society needs to consume less salt. As the ham knuckle consists mostly of fat you need to bear in mind that you will not get much meat from one ham knuckle.

  • 1kg ham knuckle (approximately one large knuckle)
  • 150g celery
  • 150g leek
  • 150g carrots
  • 150g onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 black and white pepper corns
  • course sea salt
  • 4 leaves of gelatine
  • 200g Savoy cabbage

Rinse the ham knuckle under cold running water.

Place the knuckle in a large stockpot or a large saucepan, cover the ham knuckle with cold water and bring the ham to the boil.

Once the ham is boiling, turn the heat to a gentle simmer.   Cook the ham for 30 minutes and remove the impurities as they rise to the surface.
Wash and cut all the vegetables into the same size, about 7cm pieces. Crush the garlic with the palm of your hand. Add all the vegetables, star anise, coriander seeds and both pepper corns to the boiling ham. At this stage I add a ½ tsp of course sea salt, do not add too much as the stock will reduce and you can make the stock too salty.

Let the ham come back to the boil and cook the ham for a further 2 ½ hours on a gentle simmer. You will need to top the water up a couple of times to ensure that the ham hock is covered at all times.

Test if the ham knuckle is cooked by wiggling the bone, if the bone is loose and feels as if it could be pulled out it means that the ham is cooked.

Let the ham cool in the cooking liquid. While the ham is still slightly warm remove the ham from the stock. Remove the bone and all the fat, flake the ham in to large pieces, set aside.

While the ham is cooking line a small loaf tin approximately 15cm x 8cm with triple layer of cling film.

Pass the stock through muslin cloth. Discard  the vegetables and bring the stock back to the boil.

Reduce the stock until it has a strong but pleasant flavour adjust the seasoning if required. I normally reduce the stock by half.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. Drain the gelatine leaves and squeeze to remove all the access water.

Measure 500ml of the warm stock and add the soaked gelatine leaves, stir to dissolve.

Pour 200ml of the hot stock over the flaked ham to soften the ham slightly.

Choose the greenest leaves from the cabbage, remove the vein and shred the cabbage as fine as possible.

Blanch the cabbage in salted boiling hot water and refresh the cabbage in ice water. Drain the cabbage on kitchen paper.

Assemble the terrine by pouring a 1cm layer of the warm stock in the bottom of the lined tin.

Layer the ham ,then a layer of the cabbage and keep on adding the stock as you add the layers.

Continue until you reach the top of the tin, finish the last layer with ham and a good amount of the stock.

Cover the terrine by folding the overhanging cling film over to cover.

Let the terrine set in the fridge, do this over night.

Roasted Corn Cream
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 100ml ham knuckle stock

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Rub the corn on the cob with the olive oil and seasoning.

Place the corn on a baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven and roast the corn for 20 minutes until the kernels are tender.

Remove the kernels with a sharp serrated knife.

Bring the stock to the boil, puree the corn add bits of stock to the corn until the cream is smooth and creamy.

Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Assembly of the dish

Turn the terrine out on to a clean chopping board.

Dip a sharp knife in boiling hot water and with a gliding motion cut the terrine in slices.

Serve the terrine with a Roasted Corn Cream and slices of toasted brioche.

Makes 6 portions

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