Cheese and ham hock toastie with pickles

00. Matt Tebbutt recipe template

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 2

By Matt Tebbutt
From Saturday Kitchen


For the cheese and ham toastie

  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 slices white bread
  • 150g/5½oz béchamel sauce
  • 100g/3½oz gruyère, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 100g/3½oz plain flour
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200ml/7fl oz full-fat milk
  • 200g/7oz panko breadcrumbs
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter

For the pickle

  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 courgettes, julienned
  • pinch sea salt
  • 300ml/10fl oz malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1–2 tbsp plain flour
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. To make the ham hock, put the ham into a deep saucepan, add the carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, star anise, thyme, and peppercorns, and cover with water. Bring to the boil slowly, then simmer on a medium heat for 1½–2 hours, until tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the stock before shredding.

  2. Meanwhile, to make the pickle, put the onions and courgettes into a colander and season well with salt. Massage well and leave to sit for 30 minutes to soften. Once softened, rinse with water.

  3. Mix together a little of the vinegar, the mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and flour in a small saucepan to make a paste. Place over a medium heat and pour in the remaining vinegar little by little until combined. Add the sugar and bay, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken before adding the vegetables. Stir well and remove from the heat. Allow to cool before serving.

  4. To make the toastie, cut the crusts off the bread and spread the béchamel on two slices of bread. Sprinkle over the gruyere and chives and add the shredded ham before topping with the remaining slices of bread and squash down to seal.

  5. Place the flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Put the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl and beat together. Add the panko breadcrumbs to another bowl.

  6. Dip the toasties in the flour, then in the egg and milk mixture and then the breadcrumbs.

  7. Melt the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the toasties for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown.

  8. Slice the toasties and serve with the pickle.

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