Recipe of the Week: Ham Hock with Roast Squash & Lentils

Ham Hock with Roast Squash & Lentils

With melt-in-the-mouth textures and gorgeous flavours, this is one of my absolute favourites from our new cookbook Cook it Slowly!

Just 20 minutes or so is all it takes to prepare the majority of the recipes in the book, then you can leave them to cook slowly.

Every recipe can be cooked either on the hob or in the oven and also, where appropriate, in a slow cooker. Each triple-tested recipe has straightforward instructions with cook’s tips and nutritional information.

Find out more about it here… Cook it Slowly!

Ham Hock with Roast Squash & Lentils

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Calories 396 per portion
Fat 17g (5g sat) per portion

For the ham hocks

  • Ham hocks 2 x 1.2kg (2lb 10oz)
  • Onions 2, peeled and each cut into 6 wedges
  • Carrot 1 large, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • Celery 2 sticks, roughly chopped
  • Celery leaves a handful
  • Black peppercorns 8
  • Parsley stalks a handful
  • Bay leaves 2

For the squash & lentils

  • Butternut squash 680g (1½lb), peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm (½in) wedges
  • Romano red pepper 1, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Rosemary 2 sprigs
  • Ready-to-eat puy lentils 250g pack
  • Creamed horseradish 2 tbsp
  • Chopped parsley good handful
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the hocks in a large saucepan. Cover with water, add one of the onions, the carrot, celery sticks and leaves, peppercorns, parsley stalks and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  2. After 2 hours, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6. Put the squash, the remaining onion wedges and red pepper in a roasting tin, mix in the oil and add the rosemary. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Microwave the lentils according to the pack’s instructions (45–55 seconds), then stir into the roasted squash along with the creamed horseradish, chopped parsley and seasoning.
  3. Drain the ham hocks. Leave to rest for 10 minutes, then pull off the skin and fat and take out the bones and discard. Use a knife and fork to break the meat into large pieces. Serve with the squash and lentil mixture.

Slow cooker method Check that 2 ham hocks will fit in the slow cooker before you begin. Put the hocks in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Put the hocks in the slow cooker with the vegetables and peppercorns and half-fill with the hot water. Cover and cook on high for 5–6 hours.

Cook’s tips Ask your butcher whether you need to soak the ham hocks. If they are salty, soak the hocks in water for 24 hours, changing the water twice, then drain. Keep the cooking liquid with the vegetables and use as the base for soup (it will set like a firm jelly). Bring to the boil, adding some peas or any leftover squash and lentil mixture. Using a stick blender, partly purée the soup and add small shreds of ham before serving.


Cook it Slowly! cookbook







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