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English Asparagus with aged York ham and mint hollandaise



2 bunches or 20 spears of fresh English asparagus

4 slices of old York cured style British ham


Hollandaise Sauce.

2 tbsp water

2 egg yolks

225g (8oz) clarified butter, warmed

juice of ½ lemon

a good pinch of cayenne pepper

¾ tsp salt

4 sprigs of fresh mint

English Asparagus with aged York ham and mint hollandaise
Difficulty: medium
Serves: 4


  1. First you need to Clarify the butter: Place the butter in a small pan and leave it over a very low heat until it has melted. Then skim off any scum from the surface and pour off the clear (clarified) butter into a bowl, leaving behind the milky white solids that will have settled on the bottom.
  2. Put the water and egg yolks into a stainless-steel or glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk until light and creamy.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pan and gradually whisk in the clarified butter until thick. Then whisk in the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt, remove the leaves from the stalks, chop roughly and add to the sauce to finish. This sauce is best used as soon as it is made but will hold for up to 2 hours if kept covered in a warm place, such as over a pan of water.
  4. Then steam the asparagus over plenty of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears, you plunge in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, either way is good but remove as soon as just cooked. Drain and place on the plates with the slices of ham over the top and the mint hollandaise on the side.