, Step by step

Potted ham hock with quince jelly

Serve with toasted bread and quince jelly.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 150-180 mins

Serves: 8


  • Step 1

    Place the ham hock in a pan with the apple juice and cover with water. Add the vegetables (whole or halved), garlic and sprig of thyme. Cook for 2½ to 3 hours or until the meat is really tender.

  • Step 2

    Remove the hock and vegetables from the stock and leave to cool slightly. Pass the liquid through a sieve and reduce to thick syrupy consistency.

  • Step 3

    Chop the cooked vegetables into small dice and reserve.

  • Step 4

    Take the meat off the bone and shred with your fingers to form strands and chunks and mix this in with the cooked lentils and chopped vegetables.

  • Step 5

    Add the capers, chopped parsley and enough of the passed liquid to bind the mixture together.

  • Step 6

    Season the mixture with salt and pepper, place into Kilner jars and leave to set in the fridge.


We have been eating ham or cured leg of pork – the word derives from old English ‘hamm’ or ‘hom’ – in one form or another, in different parts of the world, for hundreds of years. Even the Chinese were cooking ham way back in the Song Dynasty, one thousand years ago.

Traditionally potted ham is made with a rather thick layer of butter, but Mark’s delicious version this month is much healthier, using vegetables and lovely puy lentils to give the dish moistness, texture and flavour. The vegetables add a few extra nutrients to this dish but on this occasion there are not enough to make up one of your daily five – you’d need an extra portion of salad for that!

The quince is not a common fruit in the UK today and they are mainly grown in hotter climates such as Southern Europe and in Asia, but they can grow here and apparently they were first recorded in England when Edward I grew them in the Tower of London in 1275.

Quinces look like pears and like many other fruits they are rich in vitamin C. Unfortunately the jelly doesn’t count as one of your five either, but it’s still delicious.