Ham hock croquettes with truffled pea purée and fried quail egg

As seen on episode 1 of Neill Anthony – The Private Chef, Neil cooked Ham hock croquettes with truffled pea puree and fried quail egg for Francois and Nerine Pienaar. Try it yourself. See the recipe here.

Serves: 10


3 pre-prepped, smoked ham hock
chickpea flour
bread crumbs
500 g cooked peas
500 ml chicken stock
10 quail eggs
Salt and black pepper
truffle oil
pea shoots


1. Boil whole ham hocks in a large pot for 2 to 3 hours or until cooked (bone comes out).
2. Remove ham from cooking liquid, leave to rest and cool in a bowl.
3. Turn up the heat of the liquid in the pot and reduce by half.
4. Once ham hocks are cool, shred with hands.
5. Add ladles of reduced liquid to bind and moisten shredded ham.
6. Place the ham in a cling film lined metal tray and cover with cling film. Place another tray on top to weight it down before refrigerating overnight to set.
7. Once ham hock is set, remove from fridge and cut into 2cm X 2cm cubes with a sharp knife.
8. Crumb the ham hocks by coating cubes in flour, whisked egg and then bread crumbs.
9. Place on tray and refrigerate till needed.

11. Cook peas and place in a blender
12. Heat chicken stock in a pot (always use hot stock for purees!)
13. Add chicken stock to the peas and blend slightly
14. Add a drizzle of truffle oil, being careful not to overdo it as it is a strong flavour
15. Blend again till smooth
16. Season with salt and refrigerate till needed.


17. Heat oil for deep frying
18. Deep fry crumbed ham hock till golden (about 4 minutes)
19. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

20. Heat pea puree and place in squeezie bottle

21. Heat a teaspoon of oil in pan.
22. Remove the top of the quail egg with a small serrated knife
23. Pour into non-stick pan.
24. Cook for a few seconds till set and add a piece of butter. Cook until done with yolk still runny
25. Remove from the pan and place on a piece of greased Clingfilm till needed.

26. Lightly dress your pea shoots with a touch of truffle oil and spread over the plates.
27. Place 3 ham hock croquettes on each plate and top with a quail egg
28. Add a squeeze of pea puree in the middle of the plate between the croquettes
29. Top with a quail egg and serve

Private Chef is the reality cooking series that provides a glimpse into the secret, day-today life of a private chef in South Africa. Catch a double-bill every Thursday from 20:00 to 21:00 on DSTV's The Food Network (channel 175)

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