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Ham Hock Salad with Pickled-Okra Sauce
© Richard Gerhard Jung

Ham Hock Salad with Pickled-Okra Sauce

  1. 4 pounds meaty ham hocks
  2. 2 cups chicken stock
  3. 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
  4. 1/2 medium onion
  5. 1 celery rib
  6. 8 black peppercorns
  7. 4 hard-cooked egg yolks, finely chopped
  8. 1 hard-cooked egg white, finely chopped
  9. 4 pickled okra, finely chopped, 1/4 cup brine reserved
  10. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  11. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  14. 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 12 slices)
  15. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  16. 3 tablespoons extra-sharp Cheddar
  17. 2 cups watercress leaves and small sprigs
  18. 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  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.


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