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I have a ham hock-- what now?

Saw this beautiful ham hock at the store and bought it but don't know what to do with it. Ideas please?

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  1. The most common use is to make soup, or soup stock, or use it to cook vegetables.

    But in my opinion the best way to use a good ham hock (esp. from the front of the piggie) is to braise it Chinese style with some Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, rock sugar, allspice, and star anise. Serve with a big bowl of rice and go at it. Bib recommended, if not required.

    Some earlier ideas here:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589662
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/425886

    1. You use it as seasoning for cooking other things -- greens (turnip, mustard, or collard), beans, lentils...you cook the other things in the liquid as you cook the ham hock until the meat is falling off the bone -- then pull it out, let it cool a bit, then pull all the meat off the bone, discard the bone, then chop the meat roughly and add back to the greens/beans/lentils.

      You'll love it.

        1. re: DPGood

          Ditto on the split pea, or yellow pea soup, one of my favs.

          1. Chile, make you some collards.

            1. Is this a fresh ham hock or a smoked ham hock?

              For smoked ham hock, I think "beans or greens".

              For fresh hocks, I'd braise. If you're a little more ambitious, you can deep fry the precooked hock - Filipino Pata.

              8 Replies
              1. re: dave_c

                a 'fresh ham hock' is a 'pork hock', or so I was told a butcher shop. :)

                1. re: dave_c

                  Definitely beans. Long, low heat yields tasty, smokey beans and fall-off-the-bone morsels of ham heaven. I like to serve with greens on the side.

                  1. re: BernalKC

                    I have it on the stove now with a pot of beans-- smells great!

                    1. re: dimsumgirl

                      Jimmy K's on Magazine St. in New Orleans serves lima beans with ham hocks on rice. It's beyond heavenly.
                      Bob

                    1. re: dimsumgirl

                      You could also make a stock with it and some roasted turkey bones or raw turkey parts, then remove the skin and fat and chop up the hock to be added back to a finished smoky turkey, ham and vegetable soup with a grain of your choice.

                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                        sweetpea, that wonderful aroma from the beans that I'm cooking it with tells me that I've gotta go back and get more for soup. I like the idea of adding turkey bones-- yum!

                        1. re: dimsumgirl

                          Thanks to Alton Brown (cooking collards), his show introduced me to smoked turkey legs. I find they add a lot of flavor to beans and greens. Combined with ham hocks, delicious^2.

                  2. Love it cooked with great northern beans, celery leaves, diced onion. Shred the ham into the beans after cooking for a few hours. Not exactly a summer dish, but yummy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MrsCheese

                      That tastes good even in the heat! But it's especially great when it's cold. Or what passes for cold around here.

                      1. re: MrsCheese

                        It's raining and cold here like as if it were winter. Odd Northern California weather that feels like late winter or early spring rather than the end of June. Thanks for the suggestion about diced onion!

                      2. Make it into ham broth, then use the broth to make bean or split pea soup.

                        1. If I had a ham hock,
                          I'd ham hock in the morning
                          I'd ham hock in the evening,
                          All over this land
                          I'd ham hock out danger,
                          I'd ham hock out a warning,
                          I'd ham hock out love between my brothers and my sisters,
                          All over this land.
                          (sing along!)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pdxgastro

                            Well if I had a ham hock, tell you what I'd do,
                            I'd go downtown and cook a soup or two,
                            craazy 'bout a ham hock
                            Lord I'm crazy 'bout a ham hock
                            I'm gonna buy me a ham hock
                            and cook it up on my stove