Here is a special hidden recipe that will be delicious with your Scottish Gratin of Haddock and equally with your Christmas Roast Duck.
When I was in Scotland two weeks ago, I picked up a little organic Ham Hough, asking the man in the deli “What is ham hough?”. I mis-pronounced it without the ‘ck’ sound on the end, but instead with the throaty Gaelic unfinished kind of sound like ‘cough’. If I had just rhymed it with Loch, I would have realised my error more quickly. Oh, ham hock. Grin. Of course.
You must be careful if buying any preserved products, that they have not been preserved using added sulfites!
So many of them have. My range of possible preserved meats and pickles has reduced drastically since discovering the adverse effect sulfites have on me. And I notice it too!
One night, I braved a spoonful of Branston Pickle – full of sulfites – and I suffered that night and the next day. Another night, I had a small glass of Green Ginger Wine with a Scotch whiskey and that night, I had palpitations and despite feeling body-tired exhausted (also a sulfites symptom), I lay in bed, eyes wide open, anxiety coursing through me.
So watch out that you buy the best quality ham hough!
Savoy Cabbage in Scottish Ham Hough Broth
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Serves 4 as a side dish. Use the whole cabbage if you wish to feed more people.
- 1 Scottish Ham Hough (or any fine quality ham hock!)
- ½ Savoy Cabbage
- Juice of a Lemon for serving
Score the ham hough’s tough outer skin with a crisscross pattern with a sharp knife, then place in a saucepan and cover it with water.
Cover, bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 160°
Finely shred your savoy cabbage.
Remove the ham hough from the pan and take off it’s outer tough skin. This should be made a little easier by your scores. Score the inner fatty skin with the same criss cross pattern and put it in the pre-heated oven for a further 45 mins or so, such that you can have roast ham for lunch tomorrow. When you remove it, let it cool, then place in the fridge, wrapped in a wet muslin or tea towel.
Now reduce your Ham Hock Broth, by removing the lid and turning it up to a fast boil, so that you have about an inch remaining in the saucepan (this shouldn’t take long at all – if it’s even necessary!)
Throw in your shredded savoy cabbage, stir it so it’s covered in the hot broth and allow it to cook for no more than five minutes. By the time it’s ready, the broth should have pretty much disappeared – it won’t be dry, but will be like a gravy over the cabbage.
Serve up in a large bowl for the table and squeeze lemon juice all over it to cut through the saltiness of the ham hough broth.
Tomorrow, you can have ham hough omelette for breakfast or lunch, as did my son on the car ferry to Strontian…