Ham Hock terrine with pea soup and a quails egg

This was a long process which also included a trial run for my xmas day starter, thankfully the only course I was in charge of this year! I found a recipe for ham hock terrine in Delicious magazine which I used for my trial run but altered it slightly for the final product as I didn’t like the overwhelming taste of parsley in the first dish and I wanted more corriander seeds and some fennel. If I do say so myself.. my version was better 😉

I coupled my terrine with the pea soup recipe previously posted on my blog and topped with a quails egg, just to make it look pretty if I am honest!

2 day process.

This made a terrine that served 8 people as a starter.

If you are going to attempt this make sure you read the instructions first as it does take a lot of time including overnight soaking – 2 days altogether. If you are local to the Tameside area I would recommend getting your hocks from Mettricks butchers, give them a call to order them and pick them up – cost me £10 for 4! It is a very inexpensive but impressive dish. No wonder lots of restaurants serve ham hock terrine!


2 ham hocks on the bone, soaked overnight in cold water then drained
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 large onion, quartered
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
30g gherkins, finely chopped
A couple of sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped. Not too much as it can be quite strong.
A handfull of pea shoots for decoration.

Soak the ham hocks in cold water and put in the fridge overnight.

The next day rinse the hocks and place in a very large pan with the bay leaves, thyme, coriander seeds, peppercorns, onion, 1 tbsp salt and the vinegar.

Pour over cold water to cover and bring to the boil.


Simmer very gently, uncovered, for about 2-2½ hours, until the hocks are tender and the meat flakes away easily. If you have the heat too high or put a lid on the meat will not flake off very easily and you won’t get enough meat ( which I learnt from my trial run)

Leave the hocks to cool in the liquid for around 1 hour, then take them out and set aside to cool further.

Strain the liquid into another pan and boil for 1 hour to reduce by three-quarters.


Line a loaf tin with a double layer of cling film or greaseproof paper.

Remove the fat from the hocks and discrad then shred the meat into a bowl with the chopped gherkins and chopped herbs. Mix well and season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Pack into the tin tightly and press down firmly.

Pour the reduced liquid into the tin, cover with cling film and put something heavy on top of the meat to press it down and chill overnight.

Serves in slices surrounded by pea soup ( In previous recipe) and top with a quails egg and decorate with pea shoots!


Or serve with piccallily and crusty bread if you can’t be bothered making soup after 2 days of terrine making!


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