Ham Confit – Makes 1 cup
200g good quality ham, minced in a food processor (buy a thick slice or chunks)
2 eschallots, finely diced
2 tblspns white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground pepper
50g extra butter, melted and cooled slightly
Melt 50g of butter in a small saucepan on low heat and add onion. Cook gently for a few minutes until clear yet lightly golden around the edges, stirring regularly. Add wine, turn up heat and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the ham, parsley and sage, season with lots of pepper and stir until it is all hot. Then cook gently on the lowest heat, stirring, for 10 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into a ramekin or bowl and press down until dense and level. Pour melted butter over the top, ensuring that the entire surface is sealed. This will help it keep in the fridge up to a week.
Before serving, remove the butter layer and serve the confit slightly warm to bring back texture and flavour.
• This mixture can be converted to a sausage roll filling by replacing the butter with a beaten egg. e.g. Place minced ham in a bowl, add gently fried onion, one egg, parsley and pepper and prepare the rolls as per the standard puff pastry sausage rolls.
• For extra festivity, either serve with star shaped toasts or fill cooked pastry cases with the warm ham confit and top with a little relish.
Dill Pickle Relish – Makes 2/3rd cup
This is a quick version of a relish:
¼ cup water
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tblspn finely diced red capsicum (omit the soft centre bits)
¼ cup finely diced dill pickle cucumbers (approx 2 dill pickles)
1 tblspn finely diced pickled onion
Freshly ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt
1 generous teaspoon cornflour
2 teaspoons cold water
Boil together the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf and clove, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the capsicum, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the gherkins, onion, pepper and salt. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
Mix together the cornflour and water and add to the relish. Again, bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove the bay leaf and clove and allow to cool in a bowl. Don’t worry if it seems too thin as it will continue to thicken in the fridge.
Keeps up to a week in the fridge or 1-2 months in a sterilized jar.
• This relish is delicious with pork, silverside or cheddar cheese and is a jazzy lift to left-over roasts and barbecues.
• A great sandwich relish.
Cut your favourite shapes out of sliced bread, brush them with melted butter and bake in a 180deg oven for approx 10 minutes, or until golden, turning halfway. When cool, keep in an airtight container for a day or two. Alternatively, freeze them and reheat lightly in the oven to crisp up again.
• I love these bread rounds with pate and other spreads too. They are a great base for hors d’oevres for entertaining.