Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 2 smoked ham hocks, about 800g/1lb 8oz each, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
- 1 stick celery, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- Handful of thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- tsp black peppercorns
For the salad
- 150g/5oz mixed basmati and wild rice
- 150g/5oz French beans, trimmed and halved
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, torn
- Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Put the ham hocks into a large pan with the onion, carrot, celery, herbs and peppercorns. Cover the meat with cold water, bring to the boil then skim off any scum. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours until the hocks are very tender – the meat should slide easily from the bone.
Leave them to cool slightly in the stock then lift onto a plate. While still warm, peel off the skin and remove the fat. Break the meat into flakes and place in a salad bowl.
Measure 1ltr/1/2 pt of the ham poaching stock. (Save the rest to make a soup.) Pour into a medium saucepan and add the rice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender. Blanch the beans. Add them to the pan of boiling salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Refresh under cold water. Drain thoroughly.
When ready, drain the rice in a colander set over another pan.
Place the pan lid over the colander to let the rice dry out a little, then tip into the bowl with the ham. Add the beans, parsley, lemon juice, oil and a generous grinding of black pepper. Toss well and serve warm.