Pease pudding is old-fashioned, nourishing and delicious, yet, for some reason, we seem to have fallen out of love with this wonderful classic.
I think that is such a shame because it’s really not hard to make and is wonderfully satisfying to eat. There’s no messing around with muslin bags here because everything is done in the pan.
Place the ham hock in your biggest pan, cover with cold water and slowly bring to the boil. Once it’s come to the boil, take it off the heat and pour away the water; this will get rid of some of the saltiness from the ham.
Cover the ham with fresh cold water and add the bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Bring to the boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid, and cook for about 1 hour.
To make the pease pudding, put all the ingredients, except for the butter, into a saucepan with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 1½ hours, until the split peas are tender.
After the ham has been cooking for 1 hour, add the baby carrots and turnips, and cook for a further 20 minutes. Get rid of any tatty outer leaves on the cabbage, remove the core and cut into 8 wedges. Add these to the pan to cook for a further 10 minutes.
By this time, your pease pudding should be ready, so take the pan off the heat and remove the bay leaves, cloves and thyme sprigs. Add a sprinkling of pepper and the butter, then mash up everything in the pan until you have a creamy but slightly rough consistency. Finely chop the parsley and stir through.
Once the ham is done, use a pair of tongs to transfer it to a sieve for a few minutes so any excess water can drain and steam off. Move it to a carving board then use two forks to pull the meat apart into nice big chunks.
Divide the pease pudding between your plates, top with some of your lovely ham then spoon over some of the broth and vegetables from the pan. Finish by sprinkling over the reserved celery leaves, and serve with a dollop of English mustard. Heaven.