Ham hock & lentils

Ham hock & lentils

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins Plus cooling time for the ham


Serves 6
A homely, no-nonsense rustic stew that keeps the ham moist and rich

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal390
  • fat20g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein28g
  • salt3g
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  • 2 ham hocks, about 1.3kg/3lb each
  • 1 onion, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrot, quartered lengthways



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, cut into thirds crossways



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • a few sprigs fresh thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 bay leaf

For the lentils

  • 250g Puy lentil



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • a large knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 large onion, finely diced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 large carrot, finely diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 celery stick, finely diced



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 heaped tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley, flatleaf or curly



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Before starting the cooking process, first blanch the hocks to rinse away any impurities. To do this, just put the joints in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute, then carefully move the pan to the sink and drain off the hot water. Refresh the hams under cold running water for a minute or so, then tip out the water.

  2. The cooking process can now begin. To the blanched hams in the pan, add the onion quarters, along with the quartered carrots and the celery sticks, the thyme and bay leaf. Pour in enough fresh cold water to cover and bring to a simmer. The pan can now be covered with its lid and the hams cooked, keeping the liquor at a gentle simmer for 3 hours.

  3. To check if hams are cooked, pull out the small bone close to the large one – it should be loose and come out easily. Rest hams in the stock for 15-20 minutes (30 minutes, ideally), so the meat softens and relaxes. Lift out the hams and set aside until cool enough to handle. Strain off 900ml/1½ pint ham stock into a jug and set aside. Reserve leftover stock.

  4. Now prepare the lentils. First blanch them by plunging them into a pan of boiling water, then drain into a sieve and refresh under the cold tap. This process not only rinses the lentils well, but it also speeds up the entire braising process.

  5. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the diced onion, carrot and celery, cover the pan and cook without colouring for 5-6 minutes. Tip in the blanched lentils, then pour in 900ml/1½ pint strained stock. Bring the lentils to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes – check occasionally and top up with more stock if needed – until tender. I prefer the braised lentils to have quite a loose final consistency without being over watery.

  6. About 10 minutes before the lentils are ready, strip off the skin and fat from the hams with a knife, then remove the meat from the bones and cut it into rough pieces or shred it with your fingers. To serve, add the shredded ham and the coarsely chopped parsley to the lentils, and season with a twist of pepper. If you think you need a little more liquid, simply stir in an extra ladle or two of strained stock.

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Comments (12)

nintay1's picture

Looks great and I intend to try it when I can locate some ham hocks locally.

1grahamsmith1's picture

Hock is not a meat that carries a good deal of flavour and therefore it's necessary to enhance the recipe given here. I boil the hock with the addition of just a couple of cloves and some white peppercorns. Once the hock meat is ready to add to the lentils, I fry it quickly to add some caramelisation and texture to the meat. This makes all the difference. Enjoy

topcat554's picture

An excellent value, tummy filler that adults and children alike love. I also used smoked hocks that I had pre soaked overnight as I find that can remove some of the salt. Fantastic after a long walk on a cold day.

honeysuckleavenue's picture

I added the flaked ham to red lentil soup for a more substantial meal.Wonderful winter warmer and so inexpensive.

quincepip's picture

I used a single, smoked ham hock which gave plenty of meat and plenty of flavour. I reduced the stock a little before cooking the lentils in it. Absolutely delicious and very satisfying.

adapap's picture

It is too salty if you just use the ham stock, dilute the stock by half with water if you don't really like salt, otherwise very good!

janehey's picture

Wonderful winter comfort food for January!

veritywestcott's picture

Delicious and cheap to boot. We loved it, just the thing for a cold day.

lynseybrooks's picture

Excellent, rich meaty flavour. Just the thing on a cold day.

kateclayton's picture

I made this this a smoked ham hock and added a chicken stock cube to the lentil mix - this was absolutely delicious, but I suspect this dish could have been a bit bland otherwise.

soffit's picture

Can't agree with Pam. There is nothing in the ingredient list to really raise the flavour of what is a fairly tasteless part of the pig. My only deviation from the recipe was to include the trotter which, when left in the fridge gives you something that slices like Brawn....It may taste better cold than hot?

alemap's picture

A good 'rib sticker' tasted fantastic. Will definately be making it again Great value for money.

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