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Jul 29, 2007 01:28 PM

What to do With Beautiful Fresh Ham Hock?

I got a fresh (unsmoked), organic ham hock at today's farmers' market. Any ideas for a great recipe to use it in? Perhaps with white beans? TIA

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    1. re: bear

      I'm making this tonight! I have to say I giggled when I pulled out the bone to put in the pot - it just looks so much like a caveman bone that I feel quite silly putting it in soup.


    2. Collard greens- then after you eat the collards, cook some beans (just about any kind) in the leftover juice (the pot liqour). Can't hardly beat that!

      1. What you bought is a pork shank or a portion of one. You'll get a different flavor than you might be expecting if you use it to cook a pot of beans, collards or other similar dish that you might normally cook with a smoked hock. The smoked hock is used as an inexpensive way to get a smoky flavor and some bits of meat into a down-home dish. With the unsmoked hock, you'll get plain pork flavor alone that you could get from any other cut of pork.

        There was a recent thread on CH about pork shanks being used to make "pig wings," enormous versions of BBQ chicken wings.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          I was going to say the same thing. I have used the recipe from Keller's Bouchon cookbook for pork trotters with sauce gribiche. It is an inexpensive bit of charcuterie but so labor intensive I am not going to offer to paraphrase. Is it worth the time and effort? Oh my yes. If you get hold of the book maybe from a library or a friend if you don't have it. Plan on 2 days prep. I might make it again next week. It is a recipe you kind of have to work up to.

          1. re: Candy

            Just found fresh hocks at the local market; came home and found your comment and went back to buy 5 pounds, plus a leek,onion, shallots, etc. Have the book. I am SO excited to make this recipe. Thanks.

            1. re: Candy

              That looks incredible! I was just browsing through a Beard cookbook, The New James Beard, and saw his recipe for the sauce. Recommended for seafood but I was wondering what else. Our favorite restaurant regularly does things with trotters. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.
              Oops! Just noticed that your comment is six years old!

            2. I indulged in a big fat beautiful one a while ago. First I crock pot cooked it with some really good dried white beans. When the beans were done I removed it and cooked a mix of hearty greens in the brothy beany mix on the stove. That was its own bunch of meals with cornbread for future days.The hock really adds a lovely rich gelatinous mouthfeel to the broth. After cooling the now tender hock overnight, I brought it to room temp, scored it, rubbed in salt, pepper and minced garlic, and cooked it on the BBQ grill covered off to the side until the skin was crackly and crunchy. The contrast of the crispy skin and the tender gelatinous porky meaty was SO good. Oh- with the pork I had steamed Chinese flower scallion rolls. Tore off pieces of bun and made bite size "sandwiches" of meat and skin and coleslaw with an Asian dressing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: torty

                OMG that sounds delicious. What a creative way to use a humble hock.
                Thanks for the tips. I would of just plunked it into a pot of beans or soup.

                1. re: torty

                  Wow Torty! I haven't had this since I was a child. Thanks so much for your recipe. I'm going to try it tonight.

                2. If it is big enough you need to try a German Dish called Shweinhaxen, It is first slow boiled in chicken broth for about 45 minutes then taken out of the broth to cool, when it is cooled they cook it on a roittiserie until the skin on the outside of the shank is browned and crispy, it is important that you boil it first so that it will no dry out when placed on the rottiserie. Check out the site for the restaurant in Munich that makes mostly only this specialty dish it is usually served with potato dumplings and or sauerkraut MMMmmmm good

                  The picture attached is of one from Oktoberfest !!!!