Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ham Shank: The Forgotten One-Pot Wonder

This recipe is a total throwback to simpler times, when dinner was literally boiled meat in a pot with a bunch of root vegetables. Doesn't sound appetizing? Then think again.

The ham shank is an incredibly flavorful, ridiculously inexpensive cut of meat, and this recipe hails from a time when every part of the animal was used because, well, meat was expensive. And it still is today, so next time you think that you need to save a bit of dough, ask your butcher for a ham shank. This whole big thing cost me £3, and we've gotten 2 meals out of it already, with leftovers to spare. If you like ham, you'll love it. It's simply a cheaper cut of meat that has been cured the same way.

For this recipe, I used potatoes, swede (that's like a big giant turnip, for my American readers), carrots, one red onion, a bulb of garlic, and a head of cabbage. The seasonings in the pot included 6-8 whole peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs of rosemary and a handful of fresh parsley (stems and all). Cut up all your vegetables into big 2-inch chunks, and cut the head of cabbage into quarters. Try to aim to have everything cut to the same thickness so that it takes the same amount of time to cook.

Begin by covering the shank with water in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for approx 1-1 1/2 hours, skimming the top of the pot occasionally to remove any foam & sediment that might come out of the bone. Seriously though, leave it and don't worry about it, this is easy.

When the meat is fork tender, chuck everything except the cabbage in the pot, cover and cook for another 20 minutes, then add the cabbage and cook for the remaining 10. Drain the vegetables, lift out the ham and pull the meat off using forks and/or a knife.

To make a quick gravy, make a roux from 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp flour in a pan, then add a few ladles of the cooking water. Add white pepper and salt (to taste).

Tadaaa! A big, hearty, healthy, delicious meal that your great-grandmother would be proud of.

No comments:

Post a Comment