Head chef at The Little Chartroom and Eleanore in Edinburgh, Roberta Hall McCarron has shared a smoked ham hock, leek and wholegrain mustard pie recipe.
Following the success of The Little Chartroom, Roberta Hall McCarron and her husband Shaun McCarron moved the restaurant to a new, ‘grown up’ site last year, with the chef continuing to showcase French-British cooking techniques fuelled by a passion for the best Scottish produce. Moreover, on the former The Little Chartroom site, the duo have also opened Eleanore, which focuses on relaxed counter culture with high-top dining, serving small plates from its open kitchen, also highlighting the best of Scottish produce.
Inspired by the chef’s favourite sandwich filling, the smoked ham hock, leek and wholegrain mustard pie features simple homemade pastry, filled with a rich mixture of soft smoked ham hocks with a splash of the braising liquor, leek, thyme and wholegrain mustard. It’s then prettily decorated with pastry offcuts and cooked in the oven until golden.
On her smoked ham hock, leek and wholegrain mustard pie recipe, Roberta Hall McCarron says: “Ham and mustard is one of my favourite things to put in a sandwich so it just makes sense to recreate those flavours in a pie. A small amount of decoration elevates this comfort food into a showstopper at the table.”
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment (not essential, but recommended)
- 6” pie or cake tin
For the pastry
- 500 g plain flour – 500g
- 250 g salted butter cold and diced small
- 50 g egg yolk
- 30 g milk
- 80 g water
For the filling (can be made a day in advance)
- 2 smoked ham hocks
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into approx. 5cm pieces
- 1 onion peeled and cut into 4 pieces
- 1 leek separate the green and white, cut the green into 5cm pieces, put the white to one side for later
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 30 g plain flour
- 30 g butter
- 50 ml cream
- 40 g parsley leaves picked and chopped small
- 40 g egg yolk
To prepare the pastry
- Ideally using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour and butter together until fully incorporated, and you can no longer see any pieces of butter, but don’t overmix as your dough will become difficult to work with.
- Add in the milk, water and egg, mix until it just starts to come together and then finish by hand until everything is fully incorporated.
- Divide into 3 pieces: 1 x 200g, 1 x 100g, 1 x 350g.
- Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This can be made a day in advance.
To prepare the filling
- Cover the ham hocks with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top.
- Add in the cut carrots, onion, green leek, thyme and peppercorns.
- Gently simmer until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
- Remove the ham from the pot and pass the stock through a sieve into another container – don’t throw it away!
- Once the ham hocks have cooled down, pick the meat removing any bone, sinew or tough fat. Pick it down into small pieces.
- Quarter the leek lengthways (washing if necessary) remove the outer layer, slice the quarters into 1cm pieces.
- Sweat the leeks in a little butter, until softened. Allow to cool, then mix into the ham, add the mustard and mix in.
- Melt the butter, add in the flour and cook gently stirring regularly for approx. 10 mins.
- Gradually start adding the ham hock stock, whisking continuously. Finish by adding in the cream.
- Pour some of the ham hock sauce into the ham hock mix and stir until fully incorporated. Keep adding the sauce until all of the meat is coated, but it’s not too wet. Add in the chopped parsley.
- Using a 6’ pie or cake tin, line it with two layers of cling film – allow for extra to go over the sides.
- Pour the mix into the lined tin, and flatten, then fold over the cling film. Place in the fridge to firm up for approx. 3-4 hours
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Roll out your pastry to 3mm thickness.
- Cut your base from the 200g piece of pastry – cut a 8”diameter circle and place on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, then place on to a tray.
- Cut your top from the 350g piece of pastry – cut a 11 ½ “ diameter circle.
- Use the last piece for any decoration on top.
- Brush the base pastry with egg yolk, unwrap the ham mix and place on top in the centre.
- Place the larger piece of pastry over the top of the ham mix- use your hands to mould the pastry around it. Using the 8” ring cut the pastry edge to neaten and even up the rim- you still want an excess of approx. 2cm that you can crimp.
- Brush the whole pie with egg wash.
- Using your thumb, push the pastry edge in – do this the whole way round, leaving approx. 2cm in between each crimp.
- In the centre of the pie pierce a 1cm round hole (so you can place a tinfoil chimney in it)
- With the extra pastry, you can cut various shapes and garnish the top as you like, brush any extra pastry with egg wash.
- Bake for 40 mins at 180C/Gas 4.
Related: How To Make: Duck Ragù