Ham Chips with Pea Puree

by Nelly Robinson

When I was a youngster I used to love going to the football on a cold winter's day in Lancashire. I would always remember returning home, frozen to the bone, and my lovely mum would present me with a big steaming bowl of home-made pea and ham soup, which for those who have never been - is very, very popular in the north of England! The food I create now is all about my childhood and growing up. I'm still a kid myself, and when I opened nel., I kept thinking of ways to turn my childhood memories into dishes that would inspire and intrigue. This is a prime example: pea and ham soup turned into a chip.

You'll need

  • Ham Chips
  • 2 Pigs heads
  • 4 Ham hocks
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Head of celery
  • 2 Brown onions
  • Mixture of peppercorns and star anise
  • 1kg Chopped parsley
  • 2 Bunches of chives
  • 400ml White vinegar
  • --------------------
  • Pea puree
  • 200g Frozen peas
  • 60g Brown onions
  • 20g Butter
  • 80ml Water
  • ½ Clove garlic, fresh and peeled

Here's how

  1. For the ham chips: In a large stock pot, over a high heat - place the pig heads, ham hock, brown onion, carrots and spices and fill with water, ensuring all ingredients are fully submerged. Bring to the boil, reduce to a medium heat and allow to simmer for 4 hours. After simmering, remove the meat from the liquid and shred the meat from the heads and hocks. Set the shredded meat aside in a bowl. Next, strain and chop the vegetables, and reserve the liquid. Remove the star anise and discard. Reduce the liquid down to a gravy-like consistency and little-by-little pour over the shredded meat. Add the fresh parsley, chives and white wine vinegar, ensuring all ingredients are well mixed. Finally, press between 2 gastro trays (for the home cook, you can simply use a terrine dish to set the meat - simply cover the top with Glad Wrap and ensure a heavy weight is placed on top to set). Once set, cut into 7cm chips and panee in a Japanese breadcrumb.
  2. For the pea puree: 1. Blanch peas in salted water, remove and place in iced water to retain freshness. 2. Sweat brown onions and garlic in butter, then add a dash of chicken stock. 3. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes, then re-add the cooled peas, and set aside to cool. 4. Blend together in a mixer, season to taste, and pass through a fine sieve 5. Cool and vacuum pack until needed.
  3. To serve: Deep fry the chips at 180 degrees celsius until golden brown, and present with a nice blob of pea puree and pea sprouts.

About the Author

Nelly Robinson

Spearheading the nel. kitchen is chef Nelly Robinson, celebrated for his contemporary interpretations of modern Australian dishes. Inspired by past experiences working with acclaimed chef Nigel Howarth (Michelin-starred Northcote Manor, UK), Nelly’s robust understanding and appreciation of the... Read Full Bio

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