Ham Hock Croquette with Spicy Vanilla Pineapple Chutney

Cook time 3.5 hours (+freezing time)
Servings 14 croquettes

Ingredients

2 smoked ham hocks

Vegetable stock for braising
3L water
2 long red chilli, split in halves
1 brown onion cut in half
1 large carrot
2 sticks celery
4 cloves garlic
40g ginger
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 star anise
2 cinnamon quill
50g palm sugar
50ml white vinegar

Béchamel
125g butter
125g flour
1 litre milk
250g kefalograviera, grated
10g red Aleppo (optional)
5g smoked paprika
5g oregano salt
2g chili powder
1g white pepper

Pineapple chutney:
½-1 pineapple diced in small cubes
250g caster sugar
250ml chardonnay or white wine vinegar
100ml water
1 vanilla pod
4g table salt
4g chili powder
2 tbsp mustard seeds

To assemble the croquettes
2L canola oil
2 cups plain flour
8 eggs (beaten)
500g Japanese (Panko) bread crumbs
Japanese Mayonnaise
Salt to season

Ham Hock Croquette with Spicy Vanilla Pineapple Chutney

Method

For the ham hocks
Start by adding all the vegetable stock ingredients and ham hocks into a large pot. Simmer on low heat for 3 hours or until the meat is completely falling off the bone.

When cooked, allow the ham hocks to cool in the liquid to avoid the ham losing any moisture

Shred the ham hock and put aside.

For the béchamel
Start by making a roux by melting the butter in a pot then gradually stirring in the flour. Gradually add in the milk and cook, whisking continuously to avoid lumps forming in the béchamel.

Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the kefalograviera (add it at the end when assembling the croquettes).

Put aside to cool down.

For the pineapple chutney
Split open the vanilla pod and put the seeds in a saucepan.

Dice the pineapple and add to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low heat for 1 hour or until cooked down to a chutney-like consistency.

To make the croquettes
Once the béchamel has cooled down, in a large mixing bowl mix it together with the leftover grated kefalograviera and shredded ham hock.

Spoon the croquette mixture into a large piping bag (mixture needs to be cold before it is piped) and line up some trays up with baking paper (trays that fit into your freezer).

Pipe the croquette mixture onto the lined trays creating a cylinder shape (approximately the width of a two-dollar coin).

Once mixture has been piped onto the trays, pop the trays into the freezer for three hours or until mixture is frozen. Once frozen, remove from the freezer and cut the frozen mixture into 5cm batons.

One by one start to crumb each baton, first into the flour, then beaten eggs and finishing with the bread crumbs.

Once you have finished crumbing, gently place 3-4 croquettes into a large pot of hot canola oil at 180°C and deep fry until they are cooked and golden brown in colour (should take approximately 2 minutes).

Carefully remove from the oil once cooked, remove any excessive oil and season immediately with a touch of salt.

Serve the croquettes with Japanese mayonnaise and pineapple chutney – enjoy!