Quiche is one of those things that I forget exists and then when I see it I have to eat it. Recently I’ve remembered this love of quiche, and so have been making a fair few. It’s nice to use our eggs (although bloody Chickens have been taking a rest for the Winter recently), and I like the fact that you can compile the quiche in stages, and so fit it around Molly and her antics (in this case she was quite the pastry chef).
For some reason tonight I’ve decided to make two quiches. They’re basically the same: smoked pork, cheese and pea. First quiche is smoked bacon, smoked applewood and pea. Second is smoked hock, cheddar and pea. I thought the hock would be smokey enough without the applewood.
Now, I don’t normally cook with hocks. Mr Finn, our trusted butcher, gave us two hocks for 50p (I think he was really beginning to feel sorry for us coming in each week asking for cheaper and cheaper cuts). The first one we made a ham hock and watercress soup. We had an abundance of watercress over the summer, and it seemed like the sensible thing to do. What wasn’t sensible, was not to soak it overnight. We’re a fan of salt, but even for us this was almost inedible.
So with this hock, I’ve soaked it (just in cold water) for 24 hours. I changed the water after 12 hours (as per the Meat book). Then boiled it in water with two sticks of celery, couple of carrots, some peppercorns, bay leaf and some time. So basically making a stock. I then simmered it for two hours, and kept the weird water (I’m sure this will come in handy), and stripped the meat for the second quiche.
So, below is the recipe (quantities are per quiche). As I said they’re basically the same, I just wanted to see if it’d work with hock. Apologies for switching between ounces and grams. I do that with the weather too:
Pastry (basically taken from Delia’s Part 1 Cookery Course – but all butter instead of lard and marg)
4 oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 oz butter
Two tablespoons cold water (roughly)
4 chopped rashers smoked bacon / 1 smoked ham hock
Large knob of butter
2 shallots – thinly sliced
200ml double cream
Generous grating of smoked applewood or mature cheddar
Bunch of chervil (or whatever else you fancy)
Step 1 – The Pastry
Rub butter into flour and salt. Add the water. If some crumbs are left behind, add a tad more water. Make into a round, cover with clingfilm and leave in fridge for at least half an hour.
After this time, roll out onto floured surface, to less than ½ cm in depth. Place in pre-greased metal dish (soggy pastry if not metal), press firmly against edges and prick with fork. Cut away excess pastry. Place baking paper over pastry, pour baking beans into the tin and bake in pre-heated oven at 190c for 10-15 minutes. Remove paper and beans, and bake for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile…
Step 2 – The Filling
Slowly cook the shallots in the butter, until very soft, but not browned. Fry the bacon / cook the hock. Boil the peas in water (not sure what else you’d use). Beat three eggs in a measuring jug, add the double cream, beat, add the chervil and season.
Step 3 – The Assembly
Scatter first the shallots on the pastry base, then the bacon / hock. Then pour over the cream and egg mixture. Plop the peas on artistically, grate the cheese on top and finish with a sprinkling of pepper.
Step 4 – The Final Stages
Cook and eat (20 minutes until just past wobbly at 190c and serve). I like mine with a slice of toast and a green salad. Molly doesn’t like it at all, but perhaps that’s because she doesn’t agree with me messing with the pork.
As for the compare and contrast. I liked them both. There wasn’t really much difference. The hock had more of an aftertaste of smokey saltiness, but I preferred the texture of the bacon. To be honest, I couldn’t keep on comparing them as I feel rather quiched out now…