Cooked ham hocks

by Jenny Chandler

How to cook this perennial festive favourite to perfection

The French answer to coleslaw, celeriac remoulade is a bistro classic. The ham and hazelnuts give some extra texture—served with some good fresh bread I’d be happy to eat this as a light lunch.


4 x 1kg gammon hocks, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 carrot, halved
1 onion, halved
1 stick of celery, halved
1 leek, halved
12 peppercorns
6 cloves
1 bouquet garni


Cut the celeriac into matchsticks, throw them into a bowl and toss around in the lemon juice to stop them from oxidising and turning brown.

Now mix together the dressing—the aim is something tart, creamy and thick enough to cling to the celeriac and ham. I like a good grind of black pepper too.

Stir the celeriac, ham, most of the parsley, capers and dressing together. Taste and season again. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the nuts.

Serve within a few hours of making; the celeriac becomes soft and pappy after a while.