How to Cook the Perfect Pease Pudding with a Smoked Ham Hock?

March 8, 2024

Feeling like adding a rustic, hearty dish to your culinary repertoire? Look no further. The traditional British delicacy, Pease Pudding with a Smoked Ham Hock, is a classic comfort food that is both flavorful and easy to prepare. It brings together the rich taste of smoked ham with the comforting creaminess of pease pudding. So let’s venture together into the wonderful world of homestyle cooking and learn how to make this classic dish.

Gathering Your Ingredients

Before embarking on any culinary journey, it’s essential to gather all the necessary ingredients. In order to prepare Pease Pudding with a Smoked Ham Hock, you’ll need the following:

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  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 250g of split yellow peas
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • 1.5 liters of water or stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ensure you have everything at hand before proceeding. You wouldn’t want to be in the middle of cooking only to realize you’re missing a key ingredient.

Preparing the Pease Pudding

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you can start preparing the pease pudding. This versatile side dish is made with split peas, which have a mild flavor that perfectly complements the salty ham hock.

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First, rinse the split peas under cold water until the water runs clear. This will remove any dust or debris. Once rinsed, add the peas to a large pan and cover with water or stock. This will enhance the flavor of the pudding.

Next, add the onion and butter to the pan. The onion will provide depth of flavor, while the butter will add a lovely richness to the pudding. Bring the pan to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

After cooking, the peas should be soft and mushy. If they’re still firm, continue to cook them until they reach the desired consistency. Once cooked, transfer the peas to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and your pease pudding is ready.

Cooking the Smoked Ham Hock

While the pease pudding is simmering away, you can start cooking the smoked ham hock. This is a relatively simple process, but it does require some time.

Place the ham hock in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 hours. The ham hock is done when the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily.

Once the ham hock is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool. After it has cooled, shred the meat off the bone. The meat can be served on top of the pease pudding or mixed in with it, depending on your preference.

Combining the Dishes

Now that you have your pease pudding and smoked ham hock ready, it’s time to combine the dishes. This is a simple but crucial step in the recipe.

To serve, spoon a generous amount of pease pudding onto a plate. Top the pudding with the shredded ham hock meat, ensuring each plate gets a good mix of meat and pudding.

For extra flavor, you can drizzle some of the cooking juices from the ham hock over the top of the dish. This adds a delicious smoky flavor that complements the creaminess of the pease pudding perfectly.

Perfecting the Recipe

Cooking is an art, and like any art, it requires practice. Don’t be disheartened if your first attempt at pease pudding and smoked ham hock doesn’t turn out perfect. With a few tweaks and adjustments, you can refine the recipe to suit your taste.

You might want to experiment with the amount of onion or butter you use in the pease pudding, or try adding different spices to the ham hock while it cooks. Remember, the key to a good dish is balance, so don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe until you get it just right.

Making Pease Pudding with Smoked Ham Hock in a Slow Cooker

While traditional recipes often require stovetop cooking, using a slow cooker can make the process even easier. This method, which involves slow, low-temperature cooking, is perfect for dishes like pease pudding and smoked ham hock that benefit from a long cooking time.

To prepare the pease pudding in a slow cooker, rinse the split peas and add them to the cooker along with the chopped onion, butter, and water or stock. Set the cooker to low and allow the ingredients to cook for 8 hours. This slow cooking process will help the peas become soft and mushy, creating the perfect consistency for your pudding.

For the ham hock, place it in the slow cooker and cover it with water. Cook it on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. Once cooked, let it cool before shredding the meat.

Using a slow cooker not only simplifies the cooking process but also allows the flavors to thoroughly meld together. This method is particularly useful in the colder months of November and December, when a warm, hearty meal like pease pudding and smoked ham hock is especially comforting.

Adding Extra Flavor

There are many ways to add extra flavor to your pease pudding and smoked ham hock. One of the most popular methods is to use bay leaves and other spices during cooking.

Add a couple of bay leaves to the split peas while they’re cooking. The bay leaves will infuse the peas with a subtle, aromatic flavor that complements the smoky taste of the ham hock.

For the ham hock, you might want to consider adding a variety of spices. Cloves, for example, can add a warm, sweet flavor that harmonizes well with the smoky ham. Just insert a few cloves into the meat before cooking and remove them once the ham hock is done.

You can also season your dish with a classic combination of salt and pepper. This duo of spices enhances the flavor of the dishes without overpowering them, making it a must-have in any kitchen.

Experimenting with different spices and flavorings can help you create a pease pudding and ham hock dish that is uniquely yours. So don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipe.

Conclusion

Whether you are a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, preparing pease pudding with a smoked ham hock is a delicious endeavor worth undertaking. With the hearty and comforting flavors of split peas and smoked ham, this traditional British dish is sure to be a hit at any meal.

Remember, like all recipes, feel free to make this one your own. Add or subtract ingredients like the bay leaves or cloves, adjust the amount of salt and pepper, or even try cooking the dish in a slow cooker instead of a stovetop. Regardless of the method or seasonings you choose, you’re sure to end up with a dish that is both satisfying and incredibly flavorful.

The versatility of this dish makes it an excellent choice for any time of the year, from the chilly days of December and January to the warmer months of June and July. So why wait? Venture into your kitchen today and start cooking up some delicious pease pudding with smoked ham hock. Enjoy!