Mark Hix’s Three Celery Salad with Ham Hock, Mustard and a Poached Egg

A celery family salad, this dish brings together seasonal Fenland celery, leaves and all, with celeriac and ham hock – a great all-round meat that sits very happily in this warm and flavour-filled winter salad.

Mark Hix says; “For just eight short weeks from late autumn and in the run-up to Christmas, I make the most of Fenland celery – a fantastic dwarf winter white variety grown in Cambridgeshire – in a whole host of dishes. Originally grown by the Victorians, this unique variety is banked up to keep the tender stems white. Boasting a terrific flavour, cooked or raw, my advice is to get it while you can.”
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: tbc
Cooking Time: -
What you'll need
4 eggs
1 ham hock, soaked in cold water overnight
4 sticks of Fenland celery
1 small or half a head of celeriac, peeled
Handful of celery leaves
2tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1tbsp malt or white wine vinegar

For the dressing
1tbsp cider vinegar
2tsp grain mustard
1tsp Dijon mustard
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
Salt and pepper
What to do:
1: Rinse off the ham hock, place in a large saucepan and cover well with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the meat is just coming away from the bone. Leave to cool in the liquid.

2 : Cut the celeriac into rough 2cm, odd-sized pieces and blanch in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

3: Cut the Fenland celery into cm-thick slices on the angle and blanch for a minute in the celeriac water; drain and leave to cool.

4: Heat the olive oil in a heavy or non-stick frying pan and fry the pieces of celeriac for 3-4 minutes, seasoning lightly as they are cooking, until they are lightly coloured. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool a little.

5: Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a tablespoon of malt or white wine vinegar. To synchronise cooking the eggs, carefully crack them into cups then pour into the pan of simmering water for a couple of minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper.

6: For the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Remove the ham hock from the bone and break into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the celeriac, Fenland celery with the celery leaves on serving plates. Add the ham hock, spoon over the dressing and place a poached egg on the top.