This hearty smoked ham and white bean winter braise is a nice alternative to a pea and ham soup, and needs a simple side salad and crusty bread to complete it. We like to get the naturally-smoked ham hock for a better flavour.
SMOKED HAM AND WHITE BEAN BRAISE
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 90 mins
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 20ml / 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 brown/yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or grated
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stick of celery, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 800g/ 28oz of tinned/canned cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- Place ham hock in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer (skim occasionally) for 90 minutes or until meat is falling off the bone.
- Remove meat from the bone, break meat into pieces and set aside. Return pot to stove to reduce the stock (cooking liquid from ham hock) by half.
- While ham hock is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, carrot and celery over a medium heat, stiring occassionally and adding a little of the ham hock liquid if it begins to stick.
- Add bay leaf, parsley and cannellini beans to onion mix.
- Add some stock from the ham hock (about a cup for every four servings you are making) and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Mash some of the beans with a fork against the side of the pot to thicken the sauce and return the ham to the pot.
- Bring the braise to the boil then serve immediately with crusty bread. If doubling the recipe, allow half to cool to room temperature before freezing for later use.
Use butter or borlotti beans you have in your pantry as a substitute for cannellini beans.