Saturday, 5 April 2008

Ham hock hunting

My friend and fellow foodie Andy rang up this morning to see if I wanted to go to Bemmie (the Bristol neighbourhood of Bedminster) to buy ham hocks. Long way to go for a small piece of meat but she'd been raving about them for a while.

And goodness, she was right. There they were stacked up, freshly cooked and covered with an appetising jelly. At just £1.89 each. The butcher (D. Butt) specialises in offal and cold cuts so I bought a couple of slices of tongue as well. Total bill £2.79.

We had cold ham and tongue for lunch with a salad made from yesterday's market leaves plus a bit more of the wild garlic and chervil with a salsa verde dressing (vinaigrette with added gherkins, capers and parsley). Some boiled potatoes would have made it perfect but, as I've mentioned, carbs are strictly rationed in the Beckett household at the moment.

I can't believe how much ham there is left. Enough to make two or three of the following:

Chunky ham and mustard (or pickle)sandwiches
Scrambled eggs and ham
Ham omelette or frittata
Cheese and ham quiche (still got that cheddar to use up)
Macaroni cheese and ham (ditto)
Spaghetti carbonara with ham rather than bacon
Potted ham
Ham hash (if we'd had leftover potatoes)
Pea and ham soup (using the bone)
and probably more . . .

What's great about buying ham on the bone like this is that you get a fantastic sweet flavour and texture: big juicy chunks rather than the limp slithery slices you get in a packet.

I reckon I'll get at least another four helpings out of it plus soup which makes the cost per serving about 19p (38 cents). Plus whatever other ingredients I use but it's still a ridiculously cheap way of eating.

Roast chicken and chervil soup plans on hold now. Gave half the remaining chervil and some dried limes to Andy in exchange for the lift and some more wild garlic which she grows in her garden (I like this barter economy). Too many leftovers to justify chicken.


Kadeeae said...

I always get some of the cooked hocks from our butcher, absolutely delicious and are under £2 too. Even taking away the bone (which is great for soup) and trimming off some of the excess fat there is still a lot of tasty meat - a really good bargain.

And I can never resist a few slices on a freshly made, warm from the oven bread roll ;-)

Fiona Beckett said...

Mmmmm, yes. Or served with fried eggs . . .

Hippolyra said...

I call my local butcher when I need one and he has it ready for me (with the bone cracked) perfect for rib sticking soup.

and sooo cheap!