Pulled Ham Hock Salad in Filo Cases
Another make ahead canapé that can be very easy to put together if you buy the ham hock and croustades, a bit more time consuming if you start from scratch. But cooking a ham hock or knuckle is totally fool proof and gives loads of delicious pulled ham, far more than this recipe requires. There will be plenty over to make a pulled ham salad or to freeze for another occasion. It’s far tastier than any packaged ham you’ll buy and not expensive at all.
Ingredients - makes 24 (approx) 60 gms pulled ham hock 3 tbs mayonnaise 1 1/2 tsp English mustard 6 sugar snap peas, plus extra for garnish 4 gherkins 20 gms chopped apricots 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley Salt and pepper Romaine lettuce leaves Filo pastry sheets (or use ready made croustades, I recommend Rahms from Waitrose and other supermarkets) 2 tbsp melted butter
Equipment required: 24 hole mini canapé/tart tin
To make the filo cases: Brush the inside of the tin with some melted butter. Brush one side of a filo sheet with melted butter.
Cut the filo sheet into strips 4.5 cms wide and then cut the strips to make squares, each measuring around 4.5 x 4.5 cms.
Press a square gently into the tin and top with another filo square, placed at a different angle. Brush with some more butter. Continue until the tin is filled. Take care to keep filo covered when not working with it. It dries out very quickly.
Cook in the oven for 6-8 minutes at 180. Bake until golden brown, but watch the filo cases don’t burn, they overcook very easily.
Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin. They will keep for days, so can be made well ahead.
For the ham hock: Simmer a ham hock in a large saucepan of water, with a peeled onion, 2 carrots, 1 stick of celery, small handful of parsley, 2 bay leaves, 12 black peppercorns and 1 tsp coriander seeds, for 4 hours or until the meat is almost falling off the bone.
Extra meat can be used for rolls or a salad and can be frozen. The stock is great for soups too. Alternatively, pulled ham hock is available from Waitrose or other supermarkets.
To make the filling: Firstly, using a plain sided cutter, cut out circles of Romaine lettuce which will fit neatly in the filo cases.
Cut up the ham hock into small chunks. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard together, season and stir in the ham, together with the sliced sugar snaps and the parsley. Add most of the chopped apricots and sliced gherkins.
Pile a heaped spoonful of the ham mix onto each disc of lettuce. Add extra apricots and gherkins and finally top with a diagonally sliced piece of sugar snap pea.
Serve or store up to 24 hours in a covered container in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before required. Then slip each ham hock salad into a filo case and serve.