Ham hock, cider and green peppercorn pie

This is a delicious, warming pie. If you want to skip cooking the ham hocks, some butchers and supermarkets sell them ready-cooked at the deli counter.


  • 1 large or 2 smaller ham hocks, about 2kg in total
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 75g butter
  • 2 leeks, washed and chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml cider
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp green peppercorns, rinsed and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 300g puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten to glaze



    1. Put the ham hocks in a large pan with the bay leaves and peppercorns and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer then cook for 3 hours until the ham hocks are falling away from the bone. Scoop out and cool. Reserve 200ml of the cooking liquid.
    2. Strip the meat from the hocks in decent chunks, discarding the fat, bone and any gristle.
    3. Heat the butter in a pan, then add the leeks and cook until soft. Sprinkle over the flour and stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Gradually add the cider, stirring until it is all incorporated and there are no lumps. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the reserved cooking liquid and the cream. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the mustard, peppercorns and parsley. Tear the ham hock into bite-sized chunks and add it to the pan.
    4. Tip everything into a deep pie dish and leave to cool a little. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll out the pastry to pound-coin thickness and use to cover the pie. Wet the rim of the dish to help it stick. Glaze with beaten egg and decorate with trimmings if you like. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed.