Poundbury chef and former Masterchef winner Mat Follas shares a delicious terrine recipe that can be made with a cheaper cut of meat.

Has spring arrived yet ? It's been a cold winter and plants like wild garlic that I love to go and find have yet to appear, with the first spell of warm weather our hedgerows will spring to life and the countryside will change, seemingly overnight.

I can't wait to start foraging and taking small groups on guided walks to educate about the wonderful wild foods we have in abundance in Dorset. We're so lucky to live where we do and I would encourage you to make the most of it.

I have one 'do' and one 'don't' to remember please if you plan to forage ...

If you do plan to forage for wild foods do ensure you know exactly what you're collecting, wild parsley and hemlock are virtually indistinguishable from each other but have very different outcomes when you serve them!

If you do find a nice spot for wild plants then don't strip it of all the plants, it's illegal to kill wild plants and the wildlife and ecology of the area needs them, one leaf per plant is a good guideline and cut rather than tear leaves or flowers off plants.

And so to my recipe for this month, Ham Hock Terrine, it's one of my favourite dishes and is simple to make, the difference between dishes I would usually cook at home, and those I would cook at Bramble Cafe is the preparation time; to make a Ham Hock Terrine takes two days but it's a worthwhile endeavour.

This recipe is ideal if you start mid-week for the weekend but as a home cook you've got to be organised to do it.

Ham hock is a cheaper cut of meat and it's well worth sourcing a good quality joint from an independent butcher, we're lucky in Dorchester to have several and I can highly recommend my fellow immigrant Dion at The Kiwi Butchers in Maud Road as well as the prize-winning team at The Brace of Butchers in Poundbury.

Ham Hock Terrine

Serves 4

  • Ham Hock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • ½ bunch Parsley
  • 2 Gherkins
  • 30 Capers
  • Small handful crushed Hazelnuts

Place the Ham Hock in a large pan and add water until it is just covered, then add roughly chopped onion, carrot and celery. Cover the pan and simmer on low for 3 hours Take off the heat, remove the Ham Hock carefully and leave it to cool for an hour then pick the meat off and chop into small pieces, place in a bowl.

Chop the parsley, gherkins, capers and hazelnuts and mix with the meat.

Strain the liquor and return it to the heat on a rolling boil until it has reduced by 2/3, pour this liquor into a jug to separate into fat and liquor for 10 minutes.

Spoon the ham hock mixture into either individual moulds or a small loaf tin and press down gently. Use a ladle to take the fat off the top of the liquor before just covering the mixture, then place in the fridge to set overnight.

To serve, use a nice sweet chutney or home made piccalilli, I make this dish in spring in a loaf tin that I have lined with cling film then wild garlic leaves to give a gentle garlicky flavour and pretty presentation.