Top 50 Gastropubs

Ham, Egg & Chips

By James Chapman

  • 4 Brined smoked ham hocks
  • 100g Pork caul Fat (crepinette), rinsed well
  • 1 carrot (peeled & washed)
  • 1 onion (peeled)
  • 1 stick celery (washed)
  • 4 garlic cloves – lightly crushed
  • 1 bouquet garni – parsley stalks, thyme, bay leaf, wrapped & tied in green leek
  • 6 white peppercorns – lightly crushed
  • 1/2 fresh, ripe pineapple (peel, slice into 1cm thick rounds)
  • 2 spring onions – freshly chopped into slices
  • 10 mint leaves – freshly chopped into strips
  • 2 tbsp mini capers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt & cracked black pepper
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs (coarse)
  • 4 Maris Pipers – large
  • Vegetable oil



Put hocks in a pan of cold water & bring to the boil.

Pour away the water & refresh with cold water.

Put back on the stove with the ham just covered in cold water, bring to a simmer, skim away any skum that forms on the surface.

Add the fresh vegetables, bouquet garni & peppercorns, top up water if necessary. Bring back to a simmer & cook gently for about 3 hours, or until the meat is just tender.

After 3 hours have passed, remove from the heat & leave to cool in the liquid.

Once cool enough to handle, carefully remove hocks from the liquor & place on an oven tray.

Strain the liquor through a sieve to remove vegetables – the stock can be used for soups & reserve 200ml to reheat the ham shanks later.

Carefully remove the largest bone (leaving the smaller bone inside the hock). Also remove the excess skin, fat, sinew & discard to create a nice round “drumstick” shape with the small bone sticking out. Chill in the fridge until fully cold.

Once cold, wrap in one thin layer of crepinette, then wrap again in a thin layer to create a double layer with minimum excess.

Chill in the fridge for up to 3 days before using

To cook, preheat oven to 180◦, put hocks in a casserole or baking dish with the reserved ham stock and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the caul fat is fully cooked. Baste and turn the hocks every 5-10 minutes to help them cook evenly.


Chargrill/barbeque the pineapple rounds to caramelise lightly. Chill, and then cut into small chunks, discarding the hard inner core.  Before serving, combine the pineapple chunks with all the other ingredients and seasonings.


Mix the egg whites with the cream and mustard (reserve the yolks for later).

Pour mixture into 4 small frying pans or ramekins and bake until just beginning to set, then add the yolk on top and return to the oven for 5 minutes (or longer to cook it more if needed) until soft.

To serve, sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs, chives, salt and pepper.


Peel and cut potatoes into thick chips (1cm thick) and rinse in cold water.

Set deep fat fryer to 100’C and fry/blanch chips for about 7-10 minutes until they are just cooked all the way through, but not falling apart.

Chill them down on a cooling rack in fridge until completely cold.

Shake them a little on the tray to “roughen” the edges, this will make them even crispier later.

When ready to serve set fryer to 180’C and fry chips until golden brown, shaking gently to avoid them sticking.

Raise the fryer basket, then turn the fryer up to 190’C and fry the chips for the last minute at this higher temperature. When very crispy drain the chips well, season with fine sea salt and serve.