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

(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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22 thoughts on “Smoked Ham Hock Pie

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 :)

  5. 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?


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