TONY STAPLES: This tasty terrine is flexible food for the summer

Smoked ham hock terrine with pea puree
Smoked ham hock terrine with pea puree

Bring on the picnics with this easy terrine that also makes an elegant starter. Tony Staples, executive head chef of the Arora Hotel Gatwick Crawley, explains how.

If you’re trying to juggle work with children on school holidays and fit in a bit of entertaining with friends, then you need flexible food.

Executive head chef Tony Staples

Executive head chef Tony Staples

This smoked ham hock terrine, created by my new senior sous chef David Smith, is the answer. We have just added it to our new summer menu and serve it as a starter with pea puree, pancetta twirls, lightly pickled quails eggs, broad beans and parsley crème fraiche.

It doesn’t take long to make and can be kept in the fridge for a few days ready to go on picnics, be turned into a starter or become a light lunch with friends. It could also be eaten with a chunk of bread before you head out.

The Grill in the Arora is Crawley’s only AA-rosette restaurant. To book, call 01293 530000. Follow us on Twitter. Share your picnic recipes on Instagram by tagging @aroragatwick.

Visit www.gatwick.arorahotels.com.

Smoked Ham Hock Terrine with pea puree

One smoked ham hock

6 leaves of gelatine

Handful of peas – defrosted

2 medium carrots, finely diced

For the pea puree:

1 shallot, diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Sprig of fresh thyme

Knob of butter

160g frozen peas

30g diced butter to finish.

Method

Place the ham in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for two and half hours. Or steam the ham over simmering water for the same amount of time.

Add diced carrots to the pan for the last few minutes and cook until just tender. Leave the ham to cool, then break it up into small pieces.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. Squeeze out and then pour just enough boiling water over them to dissolve. Stir the cooked diced carrots and peas into the shredded ham and then stir in the gelatine.

Place a large piece of double thickness Clingfilm on a work surface and put the ham mixture on top. Shape into a large sausage and roll up. Leave to set in the fridge.

For the pea puree, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan and sweat the shallot and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Add the peas and cook for a few minutes before blitzing in a food blender. Add 30g diced butter at the end. Spoon the pea puree onto plates and top with thick slices of ham hock. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

Chef’s tip

To cheat, buy a smoked ham hock from the supermarket hot delicatessen that’s already cooked.

You can add an assortment of vegetables to the terrine – try cooked asparagus, broccoli or even mushrooms. Just make sure they are diced as small as a pea.

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