(serves 4) Gluten Free
This takes the popular flavours of pea and ham soup and reinvents it as the perfect spring dish. If you have excess ham stock simply freeze and use in soups or casseroles.
1 ham hock
2 celery stalks
1 cup Arborio rice
1–2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
Place the ham hock in a large (6-8 litre capacity) pot along with the bay leaf, roughly chopped celery, carrots, leek and two of the onions.* Cover with water and simmer on low for 4–5 hours. When the ham is falling off the bone and the liquid has reduced by half, take off the heat, remove the meat and strain off the stock. The stock can be refrigerated or frozen at this stage.
To make the risotto:
In a small pot reheat 4 cups (1 litre) of the ham stock. In another pan, over a low heat, sweat the onion in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes then add the rice. Stir for 2 minutes till rice is well coated. Ladle at a time, add the hot stock, allowing the rice to soak up the liquid before adding another, stirring often. When you have used three quarters of the stock, add the peas and shredded ham from the hock, stir through and continue adding the stock until rice is al dente. Remove from the heat and stir through Parmesan cheese. Check for seasoning before serving.
*You can use the tops of celery, leeks, onion and carrot peel of you like as stock is a great way to use vegetable “scraps”.