The dressing must be made the day before you need it, if you make it and eat it straight away its awful. If you leave the dressing for 24 hours the flavour changes dramatically, believe me.
Mustard powder looses its pungency soon after you add liquid, so its best to leave this overnight, but re season with salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar the next day.
Warm the small chunks of succulent ham hock in the dressing.
- 2 brined/salted ham hocks
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 2 heaped tbsp English mustard powder
- sugar, optional
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 300mls vegetable oil
- 25mls cold water
- 25mls cold water
- 4 shallots, sliced finely, not chopped
- 4 heaped tbsp herbs basil, parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon.
- 150g cooked green lentils
- 1 small Romaine or Iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 small bag watercress
- 4 tomatoes cut into thick wedges
- Soak the ham hocks in cold water for 24 hours, changing the water occasionally.
- Bring to the boil in fresh cold water, then simmer, must simmer not a raging boil or the meat will become tough and stringy, especially the outside 3-4cm.
- Good tip here, taste the water after simmering for 5 minutes. If its salty, tip out the water and start again. If not salty, add a little salt and a few peppercorns
- Then simmer the hocks for 2hours 30 minutes exactly, in plenty of water with bay leaves and black peppercorns.
- When cooked the pan from the stove and leave to cool in the liquor, then chill well in the stock.
- To prepare the hocks, remove from the jelly and wash off under warm water.
- Remove all the skin and gristle, and pull the lobes of meat off the bone. Remove most of the fat, and cut the meat into bite sized pieces.
- In a bowl place the egg yolks, mustard powder, pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar.
- Whisk together, then gradually add the vegetable oil until completely emulsified, then check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Also add a little water to form a thick but not too thick mayonnaise.
- Add the sliced shallots, herbs and cooked green lentils.
- Place in the fridge and leave for overnight if possible. Then check the seasoning and adjust with vinegar and stir well.
- To serve, place some of the dressing into a small pan and add a few pieces of ham hock warm through gently.
- Once warm, spoon over a mix of watercress and lettuce leaves and mix well, but carefully, pile onto a plate and place tomato wedges around the outside.
- Serve warm, or as a main course with some boiled new potatoes.