Celeriac Hasselback ‘Ham’ (Rotselleri ‘Hasselback Style’)

Rachel Khoo's clever twist on a classic Swedish recipe makes a comforting vegetarian main dish, perfect for vegetarians on Christmas Day or for a winter roast.

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Introduction

This dish is an amalgamation of a couple of Swedish classics: the famous Swedish hasselback potatoes (potatoes that are halfway cut through into thin slices and breadcrumbed) and the typical Christmas ham (julskinka) you’ll find on the Swedish Christmas table. I always think vegetarians get left out when it comes to celebratory feasts, so for me the ultimate goal when it comes to vegetarian dishes is to make something that will please both an omnivore and a vegetarian. I think this one fits the bill perfectly.

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 h 20 min

Ingredients

½ a celeriac (about 500g)
2 tbsp mustard seeds
5 peppercorns
3 juniper berries
750ml beetroot juice
200ml cider vinegar
40g honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ an onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
60g sea salt
For the glaze:
1 tbsp sweet mustard
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
30g butter (a large knob)
3 tbsp breadcrumbs

Essential kit

You will need: 2 chopsticks.

Instructions

Wash and peel the celeriac. Place flat side down on a chopping board and put a chopstick on each side. Cut vertical slices, about 3mm apart, into the celeriac (the chopsticks will stop the knife slicing all the way through). Choose a pot that the celeriac half will sit in tightly. Put the mustard seeds, peppercorns and juniper berries into the pot over a medium heat. Toast until the seeds start to pop, then add all the other ingredients apart from the celeriac and those for the glaze. Bring to the boil while stirring, then turn down to a simmer and add the celeriac. Simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes or until the celeriac is tender. Regularly turn the celeriac so every side sits in the cooking liquid and takes on a rich red colour. Leave to cool slightly in the liquid.

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Mix together both mustards and the maple syrup. Remove the celeriac from the cooking liquid and pat dry with some kitchen roll. Place an ovenproof frying pan on a medium heat and add the butter. When it begins to sizzle, put the celeriac flat side down into the pan to sear it. While it’s searing, baste the top with the butter. Take off the heat when the base is golden brown. Spread the glaze on top and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, then pour over any remaining butter from the pan. Place under the grill and cook until the topping is golden.

Serve with creamed spinach and roast potatoes.

Top tip: a slice of this cold is delicious with coleslaw and a salty mature cheese in a sandwich.

Get ahead: the celeriac can be simmered a day in advance and left to sit in the cooking liquid. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before searing.

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