If a ham and bean soup calls for a ham bone - does it mean the bone that you would get from a big ham like you would serve for Easter or ham hocks.
They mean the bone. You can sub a hock if need be.I always save mine when I do hams or smoke shoulders.
you can use either--the difference in flavor will be the smokiness from the hocks. The ham bone will lend a more delicate, sweet flavor to the beans. Both are soooo good.
The ham bone (which is basically the hip joint) will also provide more gelatin and thus body to the soup.
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