© David Loftus
english hot-pot of amazing summer greens and flaked gammon
I love this old-school English dish because it's good value, simple to make and tastes absolutely delicious. All you have to do is spend 5 minutes getting everything prepared and then you can let your oven or stove do the work for you! If you can get your ham with the bone in it, your broth will be tastier.
Put your ham bone into a large deep pot, cover with water and place over a medium heat. As soon as the water comes to the boil, drain the ham and discard the water – this will get rid of any excess salt in the meat. Tie the bay, thyme and parsley stalks together in a little bunch.
Put the ham back into the pot with the herb bunch and peppercorns. Cover with enough water to submerge the ham. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for around 1 1/2 hours. Add the carrots, fennel, shallots, celery, potatoes and turnips to the pot, season and bring back to the boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes until cooked.
Remove the ham and vegetables from the pot using a long pair of tongs or a slotted spoon and keep to one side in a large deep warm dish while you cook the greens. Add the shredded greens and broccoli to the pot and bring the stock back to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes until tender.
Check the seasoning of the boiling stock, then remove the greens and broccoli to the warm dish. Pull the meat apart using two forks, then take the bowl to the table, divide the meat and vegetables between your serving bowls and ladle over plenty of broth. Scatter over the reserved fennel tops, parsley leaves and celery leaves and drizzle over some good extra virgin olive oil. Lovely with a little bit of English mustard on the side.
serves: 6 yo 8
• 4 1/4 pounds smoked ham, with the knuckle
• a sprig of bay leaves
• a small bunch of fresh thyme
• a few sprigs of fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves
picked, stalks reserved
• a few peppercorns
• 6 medium carrots, scrubbed, tops left on
(if in good condition)
• 1 large fennel, cut into 6 pieces, herby tops reserved
• 6 shallots or 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 6 pieces
• 1 celery heart, quartered, yellow leaves picked and reserved
• 14 ounces new potatoes (or bigger potatoes cut into small
pieces), lightly scrubbed
• 6 small turnips, peeled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 generous handfuls of
summer greens (use spinach, chard, kale or a mixture), roughly shredded
• a good handful of purple sprouting broccoli, stalks trimmed
• extra virgin olive oil