Scampi and ham hock with pineapple and sage

Scampi and ham hock with pineapple and sage

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

This recipe dates back to my first restaurant, The Black Pig. It may sound complicated but it is actually quite straightforward and the balance of flavours is lovely. You just need to allow time for the ham hock to cook. The dish also works very well with lobster.


Quantity Ingredient
12 large live scampi
or 20 medium live scampi
light olive oil, for cooking
1 small pineapple

Ham hock

Quantity Ingredient
1 smoked ham hock
1 white onion, peeled and halved
2 carrots, peeled
1 garlic bulb, halved crossways
2 bay leaves
20 black peppercorns

Sage dressing

Quantity Ingredient
150ml white wine
150ml white wine vinegar
200ml water
75g caster sugar
100ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
1 banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
10 sage leaves, finely sliced
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To cook the ham hock, place it in a saucepan in which it fits fairly snugly with the onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns and pour in enough water to cover. Slowly bring to a simmer and skim off any impurities from the surface. Cover and cook very gently for about 3 hours until the meat is very tender, topping up with water as necessary.
  2. Bring another pan of water the boil and salt it very well. Have a bowl of iced water ready. To prepare the scampi, remove the heads and the dark intestinal tract from the tails. Blanch the scampi in the boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to the ice-cold water. When cold, lift out and peel away the tail shells. Lay the scampi on a tray and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Peel, core and cut the pineapple into 5 mm dice.
  4. For the dressing, put the wine, wine vinegar, water and sugar in a pan and heat slowly to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the diced pineapple and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
  5. When the pineapple has cooled, strain off the liquor and mix 8 tablespoons with the rapeseed oil. Add the shallot and sage and season with a little salt.
  6. When the ham is cooked and comes away from the bone, lift it out of the pot and leave until cool enough to handle. Strip the meat off the bone in chunky pieces; keep warm. Add 200 ml of the ham liquor to the dressing.
  7. To serve, take the scampi from the fridge and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. When hot, add the scampi tails and colour for 1 minute, turning once.
  8. Divide the ham between 4 warm bowls, add some pineapple and spoon 4 tablespoons of dressing over each serving. Add the scampi tails and serve.
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