After receiving some very special Iberico ham from a recent trip to Spain and with Sat Bains’ new cookbook perched on the coffee table – cooking this dish was inevitable.
The winning starter of Great British Menu five years ago and featuring on his restaurant’s menu ever since, Ham, Egg and Peas is a masterclass in simplicity and elegance. Sat’s cookbook ‘Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian’ features two versions of the recipe – the original and a newly revised version. My attempt at combining elements of the two made for a truly memorable dish.
A perfectly textured sous vide duck egg, light pea panna cotta, sherry caramel and poached peas all paired with the wonderful Iberico ham was a marvel in subtlety. Seasoning is key here – especially since the majority of elements are served cold or at room temperature.
The pea panna cotta alone would make a fantastic summer starter – simply served with a slice of toasted sourdough.
Ham, Egg and Peas
From: Sat Bains, Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian
6 Duck Eggs
200g Fresh Peas (Shelled)
250ml Sweet Sherry
50g Caster Sugar
6 Small Slices Iberico Ham
6 Small Slices Toasted Bread
3 Gelatine Leaves
300g Frozen Peas
150ml Double Cream (Whisked to Soft Peaks)
1) First prepare the poached peas: cook the fresh peas in a large pan of salted boiling water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Drain (reserving the cooking liquor) and immerse in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, season and store in the fridge.
2) Next make the panna cotta: Bloom the gelatine leaves in a little cold water for 10 minutes. Bring 200ml of the reserved poached pea liquor to the boil and whisk in the gelatine leaves to dissolve. Remove from the heat. Add the frozen peas and cooking liquor to a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl set over a bowl of iced water. Allow the mixture to cool until almost set, then gently whisk in the double cream. Check the seasoning – adding a little salt if required. Pour into a plastic container, cover and transfer to the fridge to set – allowing at least 3 hours.
3) Two hours before serving, place the duck eggs in a water bath at 62C.
4) Meanwhile, make the sherry caramel – add the sherry and caster sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
5) To serve: Remove the duck eggs from the water bath after two hours, carefully peeling off the shell and turning each egg out onto a plate/bowl before sprinkling each with a little sae salt. Serve with the poached peas, a spoonful of panna cotta, a wedge of toast, a few small slices of ham and a drizzle of sherry caramel.