Ham Hock Salad with Pickled-Okra Sauce

 

Slideshow: More Terrific Salads

 

  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Summer, Braising, Dinner Party, American, Southern/Soul Food, Salads

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Ingredients

  • 4 pounds meaty ham hocks
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 hard-cooked egg yolks, finely chopped
  • 1 hard-cooked egg white, finely chopped
  • 4 pickled okra, finely chopped, 1/4 cup brine reserved
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 12 slices)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 2 cups watercress leaves and small sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the ham hocks, stock, 2 cups of the water, the onion, celery and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the meat begins to fall off the bones. Remove the hocks and let cool, then remove the meat and shred it. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the braising liquid. Turn the oven up to 350°.
  2. In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, egg white, pickled okra brine, 1 tablespoon of the liquid and the remaining 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk in the vegetable oil and mustard, then fold in the okra and chives. Season the gribiche sauce with salt and pepper.
  3. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Keep warm.
  4. In a small bowl, toss the watercress with the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the lemon juice. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of braising liquid. Add the ham and stir until warmed through. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in 1/4 cup of the gribiche sauce. Pack 1/2 cup of the ham into a 3-inch ring mold in the center of each dinner plate, then lift off the mold. Arrange the watercress salad on one side and the potatoes on the other and serve.
Contributed By Photo © Richard Gerhard Jung Published July 2001

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