Ham, Pea & Polenta Cakes

I cooked the ham hock for this yesterday. Cover it with cold water, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about a minute. Drain it, rinse a couple of times in cold water then pop it back in a pan, cover it in cold water again, bring it back to the boil and simmer for about 2½ hours.

I didn’t think it was going to be very nice as the smell as it was cooking wasn’t very enticing but it was really, really tasty.

The recipe used sweet potato and a normal potato but some kind of communication error at the veg stall meant I had ended up without any normal potatoes. Peel and dice your potato and cook until mashable. Mash, season and leave to cool.

Shred the ham (you’re not going to need all of it) and pop it in a bowl along with about four finely chopped spring onions, a pinch of cayenne, some defrosted peas, some shredded mint leaves, the zest of a lemon and a couple of tablespoons of polenta. Add your mash and a lightly whisked egg white and give it all a good mix.

Form it into about 6 patties and cover with some more polenta. Take care, they are fragile little buggers. Pop them in the fridge to chill.

Put some oil in a pan and fry them lightly for 3-4 minutes each side.


The recipe is in the August edition of BBC Good Food and serves up a poached egg but I couldn’t be bothered. It’s just too damned hot to be in the kitchen for any length of time. I did serve it with some dressed rocket and a dollop of crème fraîche.

This was dinner…15th July 2013.


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