“I love the combination of ham and peas. Ham hocks are fantastic value, and cooking them on the bone adds loads of extra flavour. This recipe is kind of like a quicker, more modern version of boiled bacon and pease pudding. ”
The day before you cook this recipe, soak the ham hocks in a pot of cold water overnight.
The next day, drain the hocks, refill the pot with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Discard the salty water, rinse the hocks, and repeat once more.
Trim and finely slice the leeks, celery and carrots in your food processor or using a mandolin (use the guard!).
Add the veg to a casserole pan with a lug of oil, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and the bay leaves. Sweat over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the veg are soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
Add the drained ham hocks, pearl barley and chicken stock. Bring to the boil then cook, with the lid on, over a medium-low heat for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Check on it occasionally, and top up with more hot stock or water if it gets too dry.
Using tongs, transfer the ham hocks to a clean board and carefully remove all the fat and bones. Shred the meat then return it to the broth. Turn the heat up and add the peas.
When they’re tender, pick, finely chop and stir in the parsley along with the mint sauce. Serve with bread and English mustard.