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Quail egg and ham hock tarts

This recipe will work just as well with chicken eggs (you'll only need two for each tart). The pastry recipe is a winner and comes from my friend Linda Evans's gran.

You'll need

2 ham hocks (about 1.2kg) 1 each carrot, onion and celery stalk, coarsely chopped 2 fresh bay leaves 5 black peppercorns ½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 24 quail eggs 320 ml pouring cream   Lard pastry 375 gm plain flour, sieved 125 gm butter, finely chopped 125 gm cold lard, coarsely chopped   Parsley salad 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced 1 tsp salted baby capers, rinsed and drained 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar


  • 01
  • Combine hocks, carrot, onion, celery, bay leaves and pepper in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook until meat falls from the bone (2-2½ hours). Remove hocks (discard liquid and vegetables) and set aside until cool enough to handle. Coarsely shred (discard bones, fat and sinew) and set aside to cool completely.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for lard pastry, combine flour, butter and lard in a large bowl and mix with a small knife until coarsely combined. Form a well in the centre then add 175ml iced water (adding a little extra if necessary) and bring together with your hands. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until pastry just comes together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry to 5mm thick and cut out four 15cm-diameter circles. Line four 300ml cake tins with pastry, trim edges, then refrigerate to rest (20 minutes).
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Combine ham and parsley, season to taste, half-fill each tin with ham mixture. Crack 3 eggs into each, top with remaining ham mixture, crack in remaining eggs, then divide cream among tarts. Bake until golden and eggs are set (25-35 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for parsley salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and serve with hot egg tarts.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

American-style pale ale.

Featured in

Apr 2011

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