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Oct 2, 2005 07:07 PM

split pea soup

  • p

I bought a nice looking ham hock for my split pea soup. I really prefer a meaty ham bone, but didn't have one. The hock I bought was lovely to look at, but when it came to taking the meat off to add to the soup, there was maybe a tablespoon of meat, if that. Did I just get a skinny hock, or are they usually like that? I should have thrown in a fat sausage!

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  1. j
    Jenna Dornblaser

    I usually buy a 2-1/2 pound ham hock for my split pea soup that I make for grandma. Once I've simmered it for a good 2 hours, I easily have 3-4 cups worth of meat. Maybe you got the runt ham hock?? Or just a super fatty one.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jenna Dornblaser

      3-4 CUPS? Wow! I guess I did get the runt of the litter. Do you use smoked, or fresh? I ended up adding some julienned hock skin, just so I'd have something to chew.

      I bought two, thinking I'd use the second one for navy bean soup, but I'm going to take the darned thing back! Thanks for the reply. Pat

      1. re: Pat Hammond

        I buy the smoked version. It adds a really nice flavor. Hope you can find a meatier one out there!

        1. re: Pat Hammond

          I've never gotten as much as 3-4 cups - that sounds more like a shank than a hock! (I've never seen anything that large around here.) But still, a tablespoon is awfully little - off the top of my head, I'd say I usually get about 1/2 cup of shredded meat after removing all skin and fat.

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            I think a lot depends on what part of the country you're in. While the quality and general availability of smoked meats was generally greater in Nashville than it is here in the LA area, I never saw packaged ham hocks there that weren't mostly bone and sinew, whereas here they really are more like shanks. I'm pretty happy about that :-)

        2. I like the Wellshire smoked ham shank - I get it at Earth Fare. Did you know that the Honeybaked Ham store sells their bones for $5 and there's loads of meat on them. I use that for ham/bean soup. Sometimes they have a 2 for 1 sale.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sweet Pea

            WOW! Thanks for the tip about the Honeybaked Ham bones. It's getting toward soup weather.

            1. re: Sweet Pea

              When we lived in Nashville, we had some friends who threw a big party a week or so before Christmas every year, and there was always a Honeybaked ham on the buffet. The woman was a decent cook, but of the cans-and-mixes variety (the party was mostly catered), so to avoid any chance of being expected to do any serious old-fashioned cooking she would give ME the ham bone, bless her heart. And there was usually enough ham on there for a couple of meals and a sandwich or two even before it got stripped to soup size! Pea soup for Christmas became a sort of sub-tradition in our house for a while...

            2. There are two kinds of hocks, one is individually-smoked and the other is removed from a ham (I ask the butcher to do this for me, and keep it in the freezer ready for my next pot-of-legumes).

              The individually-smoked ones have more flavor than meat. The ones coming off a ham are meatier, but less smoky. You can toss in sliced smoked sausage near the end of the cooking time to up the meat factor.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sharuf

                Thanks, I did end up reheating it with sliced sausage in it. I have a fairly accommodating butcher and will talk to him.

              2. Hi Pat - here in the Detroit area, we have several Coney Islands that serve breakfast. Some will sell to you ham bones left over from breakfast meat. I get big bones with lots of meat for a few bucks. Just need to know what day they'll be selling them, usually Thursday. Might be worth a try.

                1. Hi Pat,
                  Don't know if you're "married" to the idea of ham, but I've had really great results using smoked turkey drumsticks or wings. Lower in fat, and lots of meat--esp. the drumsticks. I'm getting to where I almost prefer the turkey over the hocks--lots more yield.
                  And Sony Bob is right, here in Detroit you can ask for hambones in retail establishments--haven't tried a Coney Island place, but you can get at good grocery stores.

                  Try the turkey and let us know if you like--