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Smoked Ham Hock, Vegetable & wheat Soup

Serves 4
PREP 30mins 
COOK 3hrs 40mins

1 garlic bulb, unpeeled, plus 4 cloves extra, finely chopped
1 large (600g) smoked ham hock
1 fresh bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
2 thyme sprigs
6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
100g freekeh (roasted green wheat)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 cup (180g) macaroni
1/2 bunch cavolo nero or kale, washed, shredded
1/2 cup (80g) fresh peas
1/2 cup (60g) peeled broad beans
4 slices sourdough bread (optional) 


tips- Freekeh is a lovely, slightly chewy green wheat. You can substitute with pearl barley, faro or dried white beans.

• For a cheaper alternative, smoked bacon bones work really well in this soup, producing a delicious stock.

• I love cavolo nero. It’s meaty, dense and full of goodness. Chard or savoy cabbage can be used as a substitute.

• If you don’t have three hours to cook the ham hock, why not try a pressure cooker – the job will be done in a third of the time!



1 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Wrap garlic bulb in foil. Place on a baking tray and bake for 45 mins, until soft. Cool.

2 Meanwhile, place ham hock, bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme in a large saucepan. Pour over stock and heat on medium until just boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 3 hrs, adding a little water if necessary to keep ham hock covered, until hock is tender. Remove hock and set aside. Strain stock though a fine sieve. Discard solids.

3 Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a clean saucepan on medium. Cook extra garlic, fennel, onion and celery for 2-3 mins, until fragrant. Add freekeh, tomato and strained stock. Simmer for 15 mins, until freekeh is almost tender. Add macaroni and cook for 15 mins, until pasta is tender.

4 Meanwhile, remove meat from bone of hock and roughly chop. Add to soup with cavolo nero, peas and broad beans. Season to taste and simmer for 5 mins, until peas and beans are tender.

5 Meanwhile, preheat a chargrill on high. Cook sourdough for 1 min each side, until toasted. Drizzle with remaining oil. Squeeze roasted garlic from skin and spread over toast.

6 Ladle soup into large serving bowls and serve with garlic toasts.

Smoked chicken wings & caramelised onion

Makes 12
PREP 1hr 15mins
COOK 1hr 5mins


12 chicken wings
1 cup (200g) long grain ric
e 2 cups (160g) wood chip
s 150g rock salt
1/3 cup (15g) loose leaf oolong tea
1 lime, sliced
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
2 onions, halved, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1/3 cup (40g) dried sour cherries
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 fennel bulb
1 tsp lemon juice
1 pickled walnut, roughly chopped
baby herbs, to serve


  Cut each chicken wing into three pieces by cutting through both joints. Keep centre sections and freeze remaining pieces for making stock. Place one centre section on a chopping board. Cut in between two bones at each end to separate. Using a knife, scrape meat back from smaller bone. Remove smaller bone. Cut around larger bone at thinner end to release tendons, then pull back meat from thinner end towards larger end to make a small drumstick. Repeat with remaining centre sections.

2 Line a wok with two sheets of foil. Fill with rice, wood chips, rock salt, tea leaves and lime slices. Heat wok on high until beginning to smoke. Cover with a lid and heat for 2-3 mins, until smoking well. Turn extractor fan on high.

Place prepared chicken wings on a wire rack and place rack in wok. Cover, reduce heat to low and smoke for 15 mins, until cooked through. Remove chicken wings from wok and set aside. Cool wood chip mix and discard.

 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins, until onion is very soft and caramelised.

Meanwhile, place dried cherries in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 mins, until softened. Drain. Add cherries and vinegar to caramelised onion. Cook for 2 mins, until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

6 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan on high. Cook chicken wings, turning occasionally, for 5 mins, until golden brown.

7 Place caramelised onion mixture in a medium casserole pan and top with chicken wings. Bake for 8 mins, until chicken is cooked.

8  Meanwhile, use a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice fennel. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice and extra oil. Toss to combine.

9 Top chicken wings with fennel, pickled walnut and baby herbs. Serve.


TIP- Preparing the chicken wings this way takes a little time. If you’re not up to the task, feel free to leave the wings whole and cook them the same way. Alternatively, you could use 20 drumettes.


Gary's secrets

• You can make a main meal of this canapé simply by smoking larger chicken pieces, and increasing the amount of caramelised onion and fennel in the recipe.

•  In Britain, pickled walnuts are a traditional accompaniment to beef and cheese. They’re made by pickling green walnuts before the shells harden. Pickled walnuts are available in jars at certain delis. They add depth to the flavour of the chicken wings – what we call at the restaurant “added interest”.

•  A wok is perfect for smoking, but you do need a tight-fitting lid and a wire rack that will sit three-quarters of the way up the side of the wok. You could also use an Weber-style barbecue for this recipe – which will keep all of those smoky smells out of the kitchen!


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