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Jan 21, 2009 01:07 PM

Uses for ham hocks (that don't use beans)

I've got two wonderful smoky ham hocks in my freezer waiting for a use. In the past, I'd use them in some sort of soup, which always had beans somewhere in the recipe. The problem is one of my daughters now has a pretty significant allergic reaction to all kinds of beans. And I can't think of anything to use the ham hocks for that don't require beans.

Any ideas?

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  1. Consider your ham hock part of a chicken carcass and boil for stock.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mamaciita

      wouldn't that add a huge amount of salt? My stocks usually don't have any salt at all...

      1. re: adamclyde

        Probably not more than a rotisserie chicken carcass.

        At any rate, I usually add salt in some form when I make soup or sauces, so the saltiness of the original usually isn't an issue.

    2. you can stew them with cabbage or sauerkrat and in the last hour of cooking throw in some cubed potatoes or rice

      1. French-Canadian pea soup?

        1. Recipes from the American South make frequent use of ham hocks, including flavoring the braising liquid for greens - equally good for collards, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, et. al. Onion and some form of hot pepper are common to these recipes.

          4 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            Amen to that! I use ham hocks (or some other pig parts) for my greens, and then use the leftover liquid for my beans!

            1. re: Clarkafella

              hmm. that's a good idea. And it reminds me a bit of that New Zealand/Maori dish, Pork Bones and Puha, which is, essentially puha (similar to watercress) boiled up with potatoes and ham bones. Surprisingly tasty...

              1. re: adamclyde

                Can't be as tasty as collards- crumble up some cornbread in a bowl, cover it up with some well cooked collards with lots of juice, and life doesn't really get any better...

                1. re: Clarkafella

                  Oh yeah. Clarkafella. I agree. A friend of ours invited us over to his house for a good ol southern soul food dinner last night. Great ribs, BBQ beans, potato salad, corn bread muffins...and some 'killer' collard greens! These greens had both the meat from the ham hocks and some sliced sausage. They were so tender with just the right amount of spiciness. I'm so lucky there was enough left over and he made me my lunch for today. Two huge ribs and some of the collard greens. Can't wait!

          2. Choucroute garni! But your daughters may not be willing to eat sauerkraut, either. But it is delicious.