Leek, Ham Hock & Cheese Flan

Leek, Ham Hock & Cheese Flan

Hello readers, BBC1 here. The week before last BBC2 was chauffeuring me to my hydrotherapy session, when he mentioned wanting to get a ham hock because of something he had seen chef James Martin do on TV. This was a kind of lightbulb or eureka moment for me as I had been mulling over a leek flan idea which wasn’t quite coming together. Needless to say that we got hold of a couple of ham hocks at the weekend for £3.50 each. So far, from one of those, we have made boiled bacon pease pudding dinner for two – see recipe here, a twelve portion batch of ham and lentil soup – recipe here and finally this flan. What could be more economical or tasty than that?

You could always replace the hock with gammon or bacon should you wish but, even if I do say so myself, this flan is not only economical it’s delicious!


3oz ham hock meat diced into small pieces
2 & 1/2 cups of cleaned sliced leeks
2oz of butter
1oz grated gruyere cheese or similar
3oz grated strong mature cheddar cheese or similar
1 cup of hot ham stock (I used a stock cube dissolved in boiling water)
Freshly ground pepper for seasoning
1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp of dried rosemary
3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
5tbs of fresh double cream

6 oz plain flour
1 ½ oz butter cold
1 ½ oz lard cold
Good pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons of iced water – cold water is the key!

Food processor:
Put the flour and salt into the processor and pulse for a moment; add the butter and lard cubed and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs. With the processor still running at low speed add the water slowly until the pastry comes together in a ball, stop the processor wrap the pastry in cling film and place in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.

By hand:
Sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt, add the butter and lard cut into small cubes then work the butter and lard into the flour by rubbing it through your fingers and thumb until you have a mixture of fine bread crumbs, add the water a little at a time until the pastry comes together in a ball ensuring it’s not too wet, place it in cling film in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170c fan, butter an 8inch loose bottom flan tin and pop it into the refrigerator, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface so that the pastry will fit the flan tin, carefully lower the pastry over the tin ensuring that it covers all the sides and with a fork prick the bottom of the flan tin every ½ inch, place the tin on a heavy baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

The Filling
In a heavy bottomed pan melt the butter on a medium heat and add the nutmeg and rosemary. When the butter has fully melted and starting to bubble add the chopped leeks and stir to ensure they are all coated in the butter mixture. Allow leeks to sauté for five to seven minutes. Now turn the heat up high and add half of the ham stock to pan. When this has mostly evaporated, takes about three to five minutes, add the other half of the stock. After two minutes add the ham hock, a grinding of black pepper and the grated gruyere cheese. Stir this together and when the majority of the stock has evaporated remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Whisk your three eggs and the additional egg yolk together in bowl or jug. Then before adding cream, use your egg mixture to brush the bottom of the cooled pastry case to coat and seal it and place the case back in the oven for five minutes.

Once both the pastry case and the leek and ham mixture has cooled you can begin assembly.

Spread the ham and leek mixture across the bottom of the pastry case to ensure even distribution of the filling. Now place half of the grated cheddar over the leek and ham mixture.

Whisk the double cream into your remaining egg mixture and season with a little grinding of black pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case over the top of the cheese and ham mixture. Finally sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top.

Now place into your preheated over for approximately 25/30 minutes. All ovens vary so please keep an eye on it. You will know it is ready when the ‘custard’ has just set in the middle and only a slight ‘wobble’ remains. Remember it will continue to cook in its residual heat for a few minutes once you take it out of the oven.

This could make a lovely light lunch, served with salad. An excellent addition to a buffet table. Or great to take on picnics.

My general guide is does BBC2 like it? He has said it must be made again and suggested it be made for friends coming to lunch in a week or so. I think it passed the BBC2 like-ability test. I certainly enjoyed it because you can taste each individual component and they complement each other so well!

Do give it a go, I assure you it’s worth it and is equally delicious hot or cold.






These are some Gloucestershire Old Spots we met at the hotel we stayed at for the wedding the other week…no relation to the ham hock we used…just thought the picture was cute…lol!>


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