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Quail egg and ham hock tarts

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Quail egg and ham hock tarts

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 4
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs cooking plus resting
Quail egg and ham hock tarts
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.

Ingredients

  • 2 ham hocks (about 1.2kg)
  • 1 each carrot, onion and celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (loosely packed)
  • 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 flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn (loosely packed)
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salted baby capers, rinsed and drained
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Method

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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).
  • 3
    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).
  • 4
    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).
  • 5
    Meanwhile, for parsley salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and serve with hot egg tarts.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: American-style pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen