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    John Whaite's Ham hock and smoked Cheddar grilled sandwich

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    John Whaite's Ham hock and smoked Cheddar grilled sandwich

    Pork, smoked cheese and mustard make for a punchy grilled cheese sandwich. The sweet onions and the pickled cucumbers are important here to cut through those strong flavours. The key to making a crispy grilled cheese sandwich is patience – a more gentle, longer fry is imperative. 

    Makes: 2


    75g salted butter, at room temperature
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp caster sugar
    4 thickly cut slices of bread
    Dijon mustard
    2 pickled cucumbers, finely sliced
    150g Cooks’ Ingredients Pulled Ham Hock
    150g smoked Cheddar, grated

    For the mayonnaise:
    4 tbsp mayonnaise
    2 tbsp fresh dill fronds, finely chopped
    1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard


    1. First caramelise the onion. Heat 25g of the butter in a small saucepan over a high heat. Once the butter melts and starts to sizzle, add the onion and fry, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the onion is very soft and brown. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, then remove from the heat.

    2. Butter the slices of bread and spread with Dijon mustard. Arrange the sliced pickled cucumbers across 2 slices of the bread and top with the ham. Top that with the grated cheese, then put the top slices of bread onto the sandwiches and press down to compact.

    3. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the sandwiches and fry gently until golden brown, then flip over and fry the other side – make sure you fry the sandwiches long enough for the cheese to melt.

    4. Combine the ingredients for the mayonnaise and put into a small bowl. Serve, dipping the sandwich into the mayo before each bite.

    Recipe taken from Comfort: Food to soothe the soul by John Whaite, Kyle Books, 2017

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