Thursday, 28 July 2011
Hock & Roll
Soak a Ham Hock overnight in a bowl of water. Also soak 300g of Split Peas or Red Lentils in water for at least a couple of hours prior to cooking.
Place the drained Ham Hock in a pan just big enough to comfortably contain it. Cover with half a pint of Dry Cider (I used a bottle of our 2009 Rockingham Forest Cider), and enough water to barely cover the Hock. Add a chopped Carrot, Onion and Celery stalk, plus a sprig of Thyme and a couple of Bay Leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for an hour or so.
Leave to cool a little, then skim any excess fat from the surface. Spend a happy 10 minutes picking the surprisingly generous quantity of meat from the Hock. Strain the stock and discard the vegetables. Add the drained peas/lentils, a couple of finely chopped Carrots and Celery stalks, and a couple of medium Onions to the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about an hour before blitzing to a soupy consistency. Add as much chopped Ham as you like, and adjust the seasoning if necessary (the Hock may have been salty enough). I like to add a tablespoon or so of Oxford Sauce, or a good dash of Worcestershire Sauce to finish.
I haven't included a photo of the finished soup. It's soup after all, and I think we all know what soup looks like...