Pic of Speedy ham hock pie with potato, leeks, thyme and wilted greens

Speedy ham hock pie with potato, leeks, thyme and wilted greens

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Meat mains

Speedy ham hock pie with potato, leeks, thyme and wilted greens

Main Serves 2 35 min
This is a pie shortcut often used by pubs and restaurants: instead of topping the pie filling with the pastry and cooking for a second time, the two are cooked separately. The puff pastry lid is then sat on top of the filling and, voila, the illusion is complete. This is even more potent when served in a high-sided pie dish.

Cook's notes

To cut down on the washing up, use the same water you cook the potato in to cook your cabbage at the end. In fact the starchy, bay-infused water seems to add a little something to the flavour.


  • 1 large potato
  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pack puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 celery stick
  • 25g butter
  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 150g shredded ham hock
  • 15g thyme
  • 2 tsp coarse grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 4. Peel the potato, cut into 1cm dice and put in a pan of cold, salted water with the bay leaf. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, until just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon, keep to one side.
  • Step 2

    While the potato simmers, unroll your pastry and halve it into 2 equally sized rectangles. Cut away the edges to form 2 oval shapes. Place the pastry ovals on the baking tray. Beat the egg and brush the pastry with a single layer of it.
  • Step 3

    Use a knife to score a criss-cross diamond shape on each one and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. Finely dice the celery and fry it with a little oil in a saucepan for 5 minutes, until starting to soften.
  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, trim away the root end and dark leafy tops from the leeks, split in half and slice into 1cm pieces. Wash well to remove any grit. Add the butter and leeks to the celery. Cook everything gently for a further 8 minutes, until softened but not coloured.
  • Step 5

    Meanwhile, cut the cabbage in half. Remove the core from one half with a simple V-shaped cut. Shred it finely, widthways, keeping the other half for another day. Shred the ham hock into the leeks and add the cooked potato. Strip the leaves from a large sprig of thyme and gently stir into the pan.
  • Step 6

    Add the mustard and 100ml of water. Heat gently for 5 minutes before removing from the heat and stirring in the crème fraîche. While the ham hock warms through, put the potato water back on the heat until boiling, then blanch the cabbage in the water for 6-8 minutes until tender.
  • Step 7

    Drain and season with a little salt and pepper. To serve, divide the ham hock mix between 2 plates. Sit your pie lid on top and serve with the cabbage on the side.

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