This is a corker of a recipe recommended by MMIL (my Marvellous Mother In Law) who spent Christmas with us this year. She mentioned it to me because I had just unwrapped one of my Christmas gifts from her – a new food processor (something I had been sorely lacking in my kitchen since my old one got lost when we moved house). If you too have a food processor this recipe couldn’t be simpler: Ham Hash Cakes with Parsley Sauce is a wonderful idea from Delia Smith that uses up leftover ham. Instead of parsley sauce you could serve these very moreish hash cakes with mustard, pickles or chutney.
HAM HASH CAKES WITH PARSLEY SAUCE
12 oz (350g) cooked ham, cut into chunks
freshly milled black pepper
1 onion, quartered
8 oz (225 g) boiled potatoes (cooked weight)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon chopped gherkins
1 level tablespoon chopped parsley
2 oz (50 g) fine breadcrumbs
1 level tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
For the parsley sauce:
15 fl oz (425 ml) milk
1 tablespoon single cream
1½ oz (40 g) butter
¾ oz (20 g) plain flour
3 level tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and freshly milled black pepper
How to prepare
Just put the ham, onion, potatoes, egg and parsley in the goblet and blend in a food processor till the ham is shredded quite finely. Alternatively you could use a conventional mincer, with the coarse blade fitted.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the chopped gherkins and taste and season with freshly milled pepper, but probably not salt. Now divide the mixture into eight equal portions, shape them into neat rounds and press a light coating of breadcrumbs over each one. Then chill the hash cakes in the refrigerator till needed. To cook them, melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan and fry the cakes till golden and crisp – which will take about 5-8 minutes on each side.
To make the parsley sauce, place the first four ingredients in a saucepan and whisk them over the heat till smooth and thickened. Then cook for 5 minutes before adding the parsley and lemon juice, and season to taste. For extra flavour you can infuse the milk with the parsley stalks first but let it get absolutely cold before using it with this method.
Like ham? Check out this winning recipe for roast gammon