The ham hock is the joint that connects the tibia/fibula to the foot of a pig. It’s the shank finish of the leg bone. It may be used for seasoning greens and for cooking. This text will introduce you to ham hocks and how you can cook dinner them correctly. We will even cowl how you can season greens. So, how do you utilize ham hock?
Shopping for ham hocks
Ham hocks are an underrated minimize of meat, however they’re nonetheless available. You possibly can often discover them at an everyday grocery retailer, within the pork part close to the ham. Ham hocks are additionally obtainable in some specialty butcher retailers, however they don’t seem to be as frequent as ham. If you cannot discover them, ask the worker the place you’ll find them. It is perhaps in a separate part than the ham.
Amongst different makes use of, ham hocks make a scrumptious addition to a wide range of dishes. In Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies, they’re utilized in scrapple. In Germany, they’re roasted and fried and are generally served with sauerkraut and potato salad. In Austria, they’re eaten as a aspect dish in a beer corridor. The flavour of ham hocks is kind of distinctive, making them a well-liked ingredient in soups and stews.
Whereas they don’t seem to be as tasty as ham steaks, they’re typically offered contemporary at a butcher’s store or meat division in a grocery store. Though they don’t seem to be meant to be eaten alone, they’re a cost-effective different to bacon or ham steaks. Nonetheless, most cooks suggest that you simply solely use ham hocks as soon as, since they do not retain a lot taste after cooking. Consequently, you would possibly discover a ham hock within the freezer part of a grocery store or grocery retailer.
What are ham hocks? Ham hocks are a portion of the pig’s leg, situated on the ankle joint. They arrive in numerous cuts and are generally offered in pairs. Whereas ham hocks aren’t thought of prime minimize, they’re an ideal deal in comparison with different pig elements. Along with being tasty and low-cost, ham hocks are a incredible supply of protein for a meatless menu.
When shopping for ham hocks, be sure you ask for a bundle that features a cooking information. The bundle ought to embrace an in depth description on the right cooking technique and the elements. Shopping for ham hocks is simple when you have got the right info at your fingertips. It’s also possible to search for a grocery retailer’s web site for extra info. It is essential to decide on the best minimize on your finances and your style.
Relying on the minimize, smoked or cured ham hocks ought to be refrigerated for every week or two earlier than consuming. A contemporary ham hock ought to be eaten inside every week, but when they’re saved within the fridge, you may retailer them within the freezer for as much as a 12 months. Then, they are often smoked. It’s also possible to smoke them at residence. For those who’re into smoking, you may even cook dinner them your self, however it’s best to at all times comply with a cooking information that specifies how lengthy to smoke ham hocks.
Ham hocks might be bought at a specialised meat market. They’re sometimes smoked in pure smoke and are freed from nitrates. These cuts of meat often weigh a couple of pound, relying on the dimensions. Relying on the minimize, you should buy one pound or as a lot as 1.5 lbs. The ham hocks might be minimize into smaller items or entire. A small piece of ham hock can vary in dimension, however often weighs between a pound and a half.
Cooking ham hocks
Ham hocks are an affordable minimize of meat. They are often smoked on a grill or roasted over a range. It’s also possible to boil them in a crock pot. As soon as cooked, they’re an ideal addition to stews, stir fries, or omelettes. However it’s best to remember that they are often troublesome to slice. It’s because they do not have a lot meat, so you should utilize them as a part of a pot of stew or agus inventory.
When cooking ham hocks, bear in mind to allow them to relaxation. Cooking them in a crockpot offers them a incredible smoked taste. They’re additionally simply saved within the fridge or frozen. A crockpot cooks them evenly and rapidly. As soon as cooked, ham hocks might be served as a meaty aspect dish or perhaps a snack! The smoked taste makes them the proper complement to virtually any dish!
Ham hocks aren’t very meaty, however they’ll add a richness to dishes which are slow-cooked. As they don’t seem to be significantly densely filled with meat, ham hocks might be diced or shredded to disclose the meat pockets. To scale back the salt content material of the ham, soak the hocks in chilly water for half-hour earlier than cooking. This will even assist get rid of extra sodium, which might overwhelm the style of the dish.
For those who select to cook dinner ham hocks in a skillet, you should utilize a combination of water, brown butter, and inventory. As soon as the ham hocks are absolutely cooked, take away the greens and discard the foamy scum from the pan. The remaining liquid can be utilized for soup or stew. Cooked ham hocks ought to be drained and the rind scored. To maintain the meat crispy and tender, you may wrap them in foil.
For those who’re not into meat, you should utilize the boneless ham hock. This cuts of meat can be utilized in lots of dishes. Along with stews, ham hocks might be braised in a liquid, which helps the collagen and fats dissipate, imparting a savory taste. Along with meat, ham hocks are excessive in iron, protein, and copper. The one draw back is that they are often excessive in sodium, so do not eat them too typically!
There are two methods to cook dinner ham hocks: in a pot with a lid or a braising pan on the range, and within the oven. Each strategies work nicely, as they take two to eight hours to cook dinner. As soon as cooked, the ham hocks ought to be eaten inside two to 5 hours. For those who do not plan on serving ham hocks instantly, you may retailer them within the fridge for as much as every week.
For those who’re in search of a more healthy different, you should utilize turkey sausage or smoked bacon. It’s also possible to substitute ham hocks with pork shank. Ham hocks are comparatively cheap per pound, however should you do not wish to buy them, you should utilize one other sort of pork. It’s also possible to use pork shank, smoked bacon, and even turkey bacon rather than the ham hock.
Utilizing ham hocks to season greens
For those who’re in search of a scrumptious, meaty vegetable aspect dish, you’ve got most likely thought of utilizing ham hocks. Whereas not the proper foremost course, ham hocks are a incredible additive to vegetable-based dishes. You possibly can add a touch of smoky taste to your favourite greens, corresponding to cabbage and broccoli, to deliver out the flavour of those in any other case bland meals.
Usually bought from the meat part of a grocery store or butcher store, ham hocks are a superb method so as to add a singular taste to your meals. Whereas they don’t seem to be excellent to serve on their very own, ham hocks might be a lot inexpensive than bacon or ham steaks. Whereas cooks suggest utilizing ham hocks solely as soon as, it is because the meat doesn’t retain a lot taste after cooking.
To arrange a ham hock soup, add evoo to a big soup pot and saute onions and garlic. Prepare dinner for one minute. Take away ham hocks from bones and minimize them into bite-sized items. Return ham hocks to the pot and add the greens. Prepare dinner till the greens are tender, about 2 hours. Add extra seasonings as wanted. As soon as the greens have completed cooking, serve.
Ham hocks are generally used so as to add taste to vegetable dishes and soups. They’re greatest cooked at a low temperature, permitting the collagen and fats to interrupt down and impart a deep taste. After cooking, you may take away the ham hocks and return them to the dish for extra taste. The flavour of ham hocks is especially prevalent in Southern cooking, the place it is typically used to season collard greens and pinto beans.
As soon as cooled, ham hocks can be utilized in a wide range of soup recipes. You possibly can put together black bean soup, cut up pea soup, and potato soup. In both case, the ham hocks add taste and texture to the vegetable inventory. You possibly can even cook dinner the ham hocks in your gradual cooker and use pre-made bean soup combine. However be sure you totally wash them earlier than utilizing them!
Whereas ham hocks are sometimes utilized in soups, it’s also possible to use the meat from the hocks for a wide range of aspect dishes. For instance, in case you are cooking kidney beans or pinto beans, you may cube the ham hock meat into medium-sized items and add it again to the soup. You might not want so as to add additional salt to the soup, as a result of ham hocks naturally launch salt into the liquid.
For those who aren’t within the temper for a smoked ham hock, you should utilize smoked pork shoulder as a substitute. It’s also possible to substitute collard greens for the white ones. The greens ought to be peeled and minimize into squares or lengthy strips. If you do not have white turnips, it’s also possible to use a big onion and pink pores and skin potatoes as a substitute. As soon as the collard greens have cooked, take away them from the pot and serve.