River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Ham Shank

February 2007

A tasty recipe for the cold February nights

There are many ways to use an inexpensive shank; a smoked bacon or ham shank can also be used. From 1 shank you should get 2.25 litres / 4 pints of rich stock, 225 g/8 oz ham pieces and some ham fat.


Put shank in a large saucepan with 2.7 to 3 litres / 41/2 to 51/2 pints of water. Cover pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 11/2 hours until meat and fat is falling off the bone. Or, pressure cook for 3/4 hour adding only the maximum quantity of water indicated in your pressure cooker manual

Strain liquid into jugs. Allow to cool. Then put in refrigerator or wait until fat has risen and stock is set to firm jelly.

When shank has cooled remove meat and separate fatty bits, skin and bones.

Lift fat off jellied stock to use for frying, etc. Skin and fatty bits from the meat can be rendered down to produce more dripping. Put them into a small pan, cover with water and put on lid. Simmer for 1 hour, then pour into a small bowl. As it cools the fat will rise and when set can be lifted off liquid beneath.

Stock freezes well.

The ham can be chopped into a white sauce and used on toast or in:



Ham from shank

225 g / 8 oz puff pastry

Beaten egg


Using a floured board, roll out pastry, 2 cm / 3/4 inch thick into an oval or a round.

Put pastry on a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife or cutter, and keeping at least 1 cm / 1/2 inch in from edge of pastry, cut another oval or round, but cut only half way through the pastry. This inner piece will form the lid of the vol-au-vent.

Brush top with beaten egg and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Bake above middle of a hot oven, Gas 7, 425 degreesF, 220 degreesC, for 8 to 10 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Then reduce heat to moderately hot, Gas 6, 400 degreesF,200 degreesC, and cook for a further 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven on to a wire cooling rack. Lift off the lid and press down the pastry beneath so there is room for the filling.

Fill the vol-au-vents using the ham pieces obtained above.

Ham Rissoles

Alternatively the ham removed from the shank can be used to make ham rissoles:


125 g/ 4 oz ham pieces finely minced

50 g/ 2oz fresh brown breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Salt & pepper

1 tablespoon of basic white sauce or 1 egg yolk

1 beaten egg

Dried breadcrumbs to coat the rissoles

Deep fat or oil to fry


Mix ham, fresh breadcrumbs and parsley.

Bind mixture with sauce or egg-yolk.

With floured hands, shape mixture into short fat sausages. Leave in the refrigerator to firm up.

Dip sausages in beaten egg, then in dried breadcrumbs. Refrigerate for an hour.

Heat fat or oil until nearly smoking hot. Fry rissoles until golden and crisp.

Drain on kitchen paper

The Village Kitchen

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