Ham hock & root vegetable frestelse

Ham hock & root vegetable frestelse

Nordic Light
35 mins
Cooking time
90 mins
Simon Bajada

Ham hock is a great product that seems to sit in the shadows. It’s full of flavour and is very versatile – the closest thing you’ll find to those pre-prepared slow cooked pulled meats, but without any of the nasty additives. Janssen’s frestelse (also known in English as Janssen’s Temptation) is a classic Swedish dish that cooks matchstick potatoes with Nordic anchovies and cream. It’s delicious. With a similar form, this dish is a little nod to that. This will make two large trays, so it can be easily halved if making for fewer people. It keeps well and tastes even better reheated.


Quantity Ingredient
2 parsnips
200g salsify
200g celeriac
200g beetroot
300g potatoes
200g turnip
1/2 leek, white part only
300-350g smoked ham hock meat, shredded
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pinch white pepper
50g rye breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs
50g salted butter
2 handfuls roughly chopped thyme or parsley, to serve

White sauce

Quantity Ingredient
40g unsalted butter
45g plain flour
1 litre milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Peel all the vegetables, except the leek, and cut into matchsticks. This is easily done using a food processor fitted with a julienne disc, a mandoline or another slicing device. Cut the leek into 2 cm x 8 cm batons.
  3. For the white sauce, combine the butter and flour in a large heavy-based saucepan over a low heat to form a roux. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook over a low simmer, whisking all the while, for 8–10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Add the nutmeg.
  4. Pour the white sauce into a bowl and stir in the ham pieces, garlic, mustard seeds, salt and pepper. Add the vegetable pieces and mix together well, then divide the mixture between two 20 cm x 15 cm roasting tins.
  5. Cover the tins tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and discard the foil. Top with the breadcrumbs and knobs of butter, return to the oven and bake for a further 20–30 minutes – it’s ready when the veggies are soft and the breadcrumbs are golden. To serve, place the dishes in the centre of the table and top with some fresh herbs.
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