Smoked Ham Hock Pie


Ham Hock Stock

It’s winter, it’s cold and so I crave the pie – all the time. Deep filled, meaty pie with buttery pastry. Pure comfort food. First I toyed with the idea of using lamb shanks in a pie, all St. John style with the bones sticking out the top but I finally decided on a cheap as chips ham hock filling.

Smoked Ham Hock Pie Recipe

(I would advise soaking the hock for at least a few hours or overnight before discarding the water and cooking as below)

1 smoked ham hock
1 carrot
10 peppercorns
1 stick celery
1 large onion, peeled and halved plus 1 small one finely chopped, for the filling
4 bay leaves, torn
1 large leek, finely shredded
1 clove garlic
1 standard pack shortcrust pastry (sorry, don’t know the weight but it’s enough to cover the top of your pie dish..)
1 egg, beaten


425ml milk
8 black pepper corns
1 bay leaf
40g butter
20g plain flour
Salt and pepper
A pinch of mace or nutmeg
A large handful cheddar cheese

– Put the hock, halved onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2-4 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.
– Remove the ham and set aside, strain the liquor and reserve for later use.
– Cook the leeks and onion gently in butter until soft – about 10 minutes, then add the garlic for a further 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, make the bechamel.
– Put the milk, bay leaf, mace or nutmeg and peppercorns into a pan and bring slowly up to simmering point.
– Remove from the heat and strain the milk into a jug.
– In a clean pan, melt the butter gently, add the flour and stir to a paste. Add a little milk at a time, stirring to make sure all is incorporated.
– Start adding larger quantities, as if you are making mayonnaise, stirring with a whisk.
– When the lumps are gone, add the cheese and whisk again until smooth.
– Remove the meat from the hock, taking care to avoid the fattiest bits and combine with the leek mixture and the bechamel. Transfer to a pie dish. Roll out the pastry to desired thickness (I dunno, 1cm?) and top the pie with it. Brush with beaten egg.
– Bake at 190°C/ 375°F/Gas 5 for about an hour until golden brown.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Jonathan February 20, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I love hock.

    Jonathans last blog post..Miso Skate Risotto

  • Avatar
    Reply Fiona Beckett February 20, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Great idea! Love ham hocks. Love pies. Both impeccably frugal. Result!

    Fiona Becketts last blog post..Back to frugality!

  • Avatar
    Reply Peter G February 20, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I adore all pies…this looks so hearty and comforting! And bring on the minty peas!

    Peter Gs last blog post..What’s in a word? And some new toys.

  • Avatar
    Reply Fiona Beckett February 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Actually have just spotted the Government is seeking to outlaw pies – Make ’em while you can!

    Fiona Becketts last blog post..Back to frugality!

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen February 20, 2009 at 11:07 am

    A ‘pastry limit’ – heavens no! Save us, save us! Everyone must go and make pie at once. Pie is pie is pie. Just eat more salad on your non-pie day and all will be well. You reading this Gordon?

  • Avatar
    Reply anne February 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    That looks really good, I love pies and really love the idea of smoked ham in it.

    Saw your article on food show, I went last year and already bought tickets for this years, really good event I thought and great range of produce 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply NickyB February 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    OMG, I could have licked the screen …

  • Avatar
    Reply nina February 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Damn, I cooked a hog the other day and gave it away because I could not figure out what to make with it!!!

    ninas last blog post..Ciabatta with Rocket, Black Mission Figs, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese

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    Reply Alex February 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Nothing beats a rustic pie! And perfectly prissy pastry would have been a bit incongruous with that slab of hock, no?

    I need to find a pie to dive into asap…

    Alexs last blog post..Leek and potato soup

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    Reply Dan February 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    oooh – Ive been eyeing various ham hock recipes lately, didn’t realise it was that cheap! £2-15! and that great looking pie and soup as well?
    I’m sold.

    Dans last blog post..Milly’s Deli – Leigh-on-Sea

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    Reply David Hall February 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Helen, you are a fine woman when you are giving your fella something like this out of love. Fantastic! The best pie of the year so far. Brilliant. Cheers Dave x

    David Halls last blog post..Wet Wet Wet

  • Avatar
    Reply Ros February 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Pie will always do it for me. Last one we had was rabbit pie the day after valentines. I haven’t had much success with hock though. I get really sensitive to salt sometimes. Next time I experimant with it, I’ll try soaking for longer.

    Ross last blog post..On Curry

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    Reply Wendy February 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Yum, yum. Very cute crust too.
    We aren’t Valentine’s folk either. I did buy David a present this year. But it was an axe. Not sure that’s terribly romantic.

    Wendys last blog post..Countdown

  • Avatar
    Reply Lizzie February 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Mmmmm pie. That looks so good. I must try liking shortcrust pastry as I’m clearly missing out.

    Lizzies last blog post..Rabbit in a Cream & Mustard Sauce

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    Reply Niamh February 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Lovely, Helen! I adore ham hock, a great cut of meat. Sounds like a lovely interpretation of Valentine’s Day 🙂

    Niamhs last blog post..Guilty! Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party

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    Reply Merlotti February 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    mmm – its look really tasty! I used ham hock to make a terrine at Christmas and was also surprised just how cheap it was, and so delicious too. I’d suggest Lizzie cheats and puts a piece of – dare I say it – ready bought puff pastry on top if she’s not fond of shortcrust!

    Merlottis last blog post..My Guilty Pleasure

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    Reply The Graphic Foodie February 23, 2009 at 9:32 am

    ok my tummy is rumbling now….

    The Graphic Foodies last blog post..Chocolate pencils

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    Reply Jamie February 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    This looks fantastic!

    Jamies last blog post..SOUP KITCHEN

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    Reply we are never full February 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    HA!! i love it -jamie o doing it turned you off. it would turn me off to cause he can be kind of annoying. it’s weird you brought that up b/c my sister in law bought us 1 jamie cookbook for xmas a few years back and it’s the only one we own. the only thing that drew me into that book, no lie, is his lamb shank pie w/ the shanks sticking straight out of that pastry. for that one i would let it slide… cause it really looked amazing.

    but yours looks great too! god i need a pie in my life soon. real soon… it’s been too long.

  • Avatar
    Reply Nate February 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    This is the first time I’ve heard of minty peas. Trying to imagine the flavor profile and wondering whether I’d like it or not. I sure would like to have some of that pie!

    Nates last blog post..Our Favorite Layer Cake Recipe

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    Reply Bron February 26, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Oh oh oh that looks amazing. Hock on my list for the week methinks.

    Brons last blog post..Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

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    Reply Kevin March 6, 2009 at 4:09 am

    This pie sounds so good!

    Kevins last blog post..Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken

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