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I have a ham hock-- what now?

dimsumgirl Jun 25, 2011 02:15 PM

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

  1. ipsedixit Jun 25, 2011 02:18 PM

    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:


    1. sunshine842 Jun 25, 2011 02:21 PM

      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. d
        DPGood Jun 25, 2011 02:22 PM

        Split Pea soup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DPGood
          porker Jun 26, 2011 10:06 AM

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

        2. paulj Jun 25, 2011 02:53 PM

          braise with sauerkraut (Alsatian style)

          1. Sue in Mt P Jun 25, 2011 02:53 PM

            Chile, make you some collards.

            1. dave_c Jun 26, 2011 11:35 AM

              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
                paulj Jun 26, 2011 11:39 AM

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

                1. re: dave_c
                  BernalKC Jun 26, 2011 12:40 PM

                  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
                    dimsumgirl Jun 27, 2011 10:23 AM

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

                    1. re: dimsumgirl
                      SonyBob Jun 27, 2011 08:41 PM

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

                  2. re: dave_c
                    dimsumgirl Jun 27, 2011 07:29 AM

                    Smoked-- thanks for the ideas!

                    1. re: dimsumgirl
                      1sweetpea Jun 27, 2011 07:41 AM

                      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
                        dimsumgirl Jun 27, 2011 10:24 AM

                        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
                          dave_c Jun 27, 2011 10:42 AM

                          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.

                  3. MrsCheese Jun 27, 2011 08:16 PM

                    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
                      Sue in Mt P Jun 28, 2011 01:43 PM

                      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
                        dimsumgirl Jun 28, 2011 02:19 PM

                        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. Kajikit Jun 28, 2011 04:09 PM

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

                        1. pdxgastro Jun 28, 2011 05:59 PM

                          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
                            porker Jun 28, 2011 06:55 PM

                            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

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