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Recipe – Domini Kemp – Ham hock terrine with celeriac remoulade and salsa verde

29/07/2011 Magazine Domni Kemp Ham hock terrine. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMESThe very wonderful, talented and beautiful Domini Kemp shares this fantastic recipe for Ham hock terrine with celeriac remoulade and salsa verde and how she discovered it in The Wild  Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna.

Ham hock terrine with celeriac remoulade and salsa verde

A few years ago, I finally made it to The Burren, in Co. Clare, for the first time.  I felt like some crazed tourist, oohing and aahing at the breathtaking views, and was delighted to find plenty of
gorgeous places to eat.

One of the best was the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna, where chef Aidan McGrath’s ham hock terrine was, hands down, the nicest I’ve ever had: moist, unctuous and not too ‘hammy’, and perfect with his celeriac remoulade and salsa verde.  When I left, I asked for the recipe, and true to his word, Aidan sent it up, ready for my grubby paws to test.

It really is an absolute winner.  Capers, cornichons, parsley, shallots and English mustard all play their part in lifting this keenly priced meat into something light with lots of good flavour. Don’t be put off by thinking it’s too ‘restauranty’ to make at home.  It really is very simple and is delicious when devoured with big slices of toast.

Wild Honey’s ham hock terrine
Serves 8-10


3 ham hocks
1 onion
2 sticks celery
2 carrots, peeled and chopped in half
a few cloves
couple of bay leaves
a few sprigs of thyme
a pinch of mace
curly parsley (stalks on)
1 leaf gelatine

Put the hocks in a large saucepan along with the other ingredients (but don’t fret if you don’t have things like mace or cloves) and bring to the boil.  Gently simmer, using a large metal spoon  to skim off impurities that bubble up like gray foaming scum.  But keep it on a very gentle simmer or those impurities will never have time to settle.

The hocks will probably be cooked after 2 1/2 hours (again, don’t fret if you leave them longer as they can take plenty of cooking).  Remove from the water and leave in a bowl to cool a bit. Let the ham stock reduce down by about half, as you’ll need 300ml of this to fill the terrine.  When the hocks are cool enough to handle, discard the thick skin and some of the fat.  But keep some fat and mix it with 2 teaspoons of English mustard.  Slide the meat off the bone and keep in a bowl. Measure out 300 ml of reduced stock and allow to cool slightly.  Soak the gelatine leaf in some tepid water until it’s soft and jelly-like.

Prepare the filling ingredients:

2 large shallots, very finely chopped
10 small gherkins (cornichons), finely chopped
1 tbsp capers
1-2 tsp English mustard
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Mix the above ingredients with the shards of ham hock and the fat that’s been seasoned with the English mustard.  Season with some black pepper.  Drop the soft leaf of gelatine into the warm stock and stir until it dissolves.  Mix the terrine filling carefully; you don’t want to break it up too much.  But taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remember, it will lose some flavour once it has chilled down, so don’t be afraid to ramp up the seasoning.

Line a 22 x 12 cm loaf tin with two layers of cling film and then pile in the ham hock, but don’t press down.  Lightly pat or smooth it down.  Then pour in the reduced stock.  As long as you haven’t pressed down the meat, the stock will find the base and slowly fill the voids in the loaf tin.  Cover with the overhanging cling film and when it has cooled down to room temperature (about 30 minutes), chill overnight.

To serve, use the cling film to pull the terrine out of its cosy existence and slice it (a bread knife works best).  Serve with toast and the accompaniment below.

Celeriac remoulade

2 celeriac, peeled and very finely sliced into strips
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Juice of 2 lemons
4 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

When the celeriac is sliced, toss it with the lemon juice to help ‘cold cook’ it and prevent discolouration.  Leave to marinate for about 15 minutes. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and adjust seasoning as necessary.  This is fine even if made a day in advance.

Salsa verde

Makes loads, but it’s very addictive and will last for a few days in the fridge.

1 bunch basil
1 bunch mint
2 bunches flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp gherkins
200 ml olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

good pinch caster sugar

Salt & pepper

Whizz in a food processor, slowly adding the oil.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Sometimes, this needs a bit more sugar to help balance the flavours.

Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES


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