WEEKEND: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22) Photography: Chris Terry
Ham Hock and Pea Purée with a Crispy Egg
The perfect Sunday lunch starter
A classic combination of peas, ham and mint is supercharged with a crispy, deep-fried egg.
2 as a starter
- For the crispy eggs
- 50g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 medium free-range soft-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- 125g panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- For the ham hock and pea purée
- 500g frozen peas, defrosted
- 200g cooked ham hock, shredded (keep the stock the ham was cooked in, and keep warm)
- 150g fresh peas, out of their pods (podded weight)
- 50g mange tout (snow peas) or sugar snap peas, left whole
- 30g pea shoots
- 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked
- 25g Parmesan, shaved using a vegetable peeler
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- First, put the seasoned flour in a shallow bowl. Roll each soft-boiled egg in the seasoned flour, then the beaten egg, then finally the breadcrumbs. Heat a deep-fat fryer set at 180C (350F). If you don’t have a deep-fat fryer, half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with vegetable oil set over a medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when a small cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 40–50 seconds (or you can test the temperature using a probe thermometer). Deep-fry the eggs for three to four minutes until golden. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- To make the pea purée, blitz the defrosted peas with one to three ladlefuls of the warm ham stock in a blender or food processor – add it bit by bit and use just enough to make a smooth purée. Push through a sieve (strainer) into a bowl (discard the skins left behind). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then plunge the fresh peas and mange tout (snow peas) into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in cold water. Toss the fresh peas, mange tout, shredded ham hock, pea shoots, mint and Parmesan in a bowl. Add the olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, mix again and check the seasoning. Spread the pea purée over the base of the serving plates. Pile on the ham hock, pea shoots and mint mixture and finish with a crispy egg.
Extracted from WEEKEND: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22) Photography: Chris Terry