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 may even cowl how you can season greens. So, how do you employ ham hock?
Shopping for ham hocks
Ham hocks are an underrated lower of meat, however they’re nonetheless available. You’ll be able to often discover them at a daily grocery retailer, within the pork part close to the ham. Ham hocks are additionally accessible in some specialty butcher outlets, however they aren’t as widespread as ham. If you cannot discover them, ask the worker the place you will discover them. It may be in a separate part than the ham.
Amongst different makes use of, ham hocks make a scrumptious addition to quite a lot 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 bought 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 cheap different to bacon or ham steaks. Nonetheless, most cooks advocate that you just solely use ham hocks as soon as, since they do not retain a lot taste after cooking. Because of this, you may 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 several cuts and are generally bought in pairs. Whereas ham hocks should not thought-about prime lower, they’re an awesome deal in comparison with different pig elements. Along with being tasty and low-cost, ham hocks are a improbable supply of protein for a meatless menu.
When shopping for ham hocks, remember to ask for a package deal that features a cooking information. The package deal ought to embody an in depth description on the right cooking technique and the substances. Shopping for ham hocks is simple when you’ve the right data at your fingertips. You can even search for a grocery retailer’s web site for extra data. It is necessary to decide on the precise lower on your price range and your style.
Relying on the lower, 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 stored within the fridge, you’ll be able to retailer them within the freezer for as much as a yr. Then, they are often smoked. You can even smoke them at house. When you’re into smoking, you’ll be able to even cook dinner them your self, however you must all the time observe a cooking information that specifies how lengthy to smoke ham hocks.
Ham hocks could be bought at a specialised meat market. They’re usually smoked in pure smoke and are freed from nitrates. These cuts of meat often weigh a few pound, relying on the scale. Relying on the lower, you should purchase one pound or as a lot as 1.5 lbs. The ham hocks could be lower into smaller items or entire. A small piece of ham hock can vary in measurement, however often weighs between a pound and a half.
Cooking ham hocks
Ham hocks are an affordable lower of meat. They are often smoked on a grill or roasted over a range. You can even boil them in a crock pot. As soon as cooked, they’re an awesome addition to stews, stir fries, or omelettes. However you must remember the fact that they are often troublesome to slice. It’s because they do not have a lot meat, so you should use 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 provides them a improbable 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 could be served as a meaty aspect dish or perhaps a snack! The smoked taste makes them the proper complement to nearly any dish!
Ham hocks should not very meaty, however they will add a richness to dishes which are slow-cooked. As they aren’t significantly densely filled with meat, ham hocks could 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 may even assist eradicate extra sodium, which may overwhelm the style of the dish.
When you select to cook dinner ham hocks in a skillet, you should use a mix of water, brown butter, and inventory. As soon as the ham hocks are totally 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’ll be able to wrap them in foil.
When you’re not into meat, you should use the boneless ham hock. This cuts of meat can be utilized in lots of dishes. Along with stews, ham hocks could 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 properly, 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. When you do not plan on serving ham hocks instantly, you’ll be able to retailer them within the fridge for as much as every week.
When you’re searching for a more healthy different, you should use turkey sausage or smoked bacon. You can even substitute ham hocks with pork shank. Ham hocks are comparatively cheap per pound, however for those who do not need to buy them, you should use one other sort of pork. You can even use pork shank, smoked bacon, and even turkey bacon rather than the ham hock.
Utilizing ham hocks to season greens
When you’re searching for a scrumptious, meaty vegetable aspect dish, you have most likely thought-about utilizing ham hocks. Whereas not the proper predominant course, ham hocks are a improbable additive to vegetable-based dishes. You’ll be able to add a touch of smoky taste to your favourite greens, corresponding to cabbage and broccoli, to convey out the flavour of those in any other case bland meals.
Sometimes bought from the meat part of a grocery store or butcher store, ham hocks are a superb approach so as to add a novel taste to your meals. Whereas they aren’t ideally suited to serve on their very own, ham hocks could be a lot inexpensive than bacon or ham steaks. Whereas cooks advocate utilizing ham hocks solely as soon as, it’s because the meat doesn’t retain a lot taste after cooking.
To organize a ham hock soup, add evoo to a big soup pot and saute onions and garlic. Cook dinner for one minute. Take away ham hocks from bones and lower them into bite-sized items. Return ham hocks to the pot and add the greens. Cook dinner till the greens are tender, about 2 hours. Add further 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’ll be able to 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 quite a lot of soup recipes. You’ll be able to 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’ll be able to even cook dinner the ham hocks in your sluggish cooker and use pre-made bean soup combine. However ensure you totally wash them earlier than utilizing them!
Whereas ham hocks are sometimes utilized in soups, you too can use the meat from the hocks for quite a lot of aspect dishes. For instance, if you’re cooking kidney beans or pinto beans, you’ll be able to cube the ham hock meat into medium-sized items and add it again to the soup. It’s possible you’ll not want so as to add further salt to the soup, as a result of ham hocks naturally launch salt into the liquid.
When you aren’t within the temper for a smoked ham hock, you should use smoked pork shoulder as an alternative. You can even substitute collard greens for the white ones. The greens ought to be peeled and lower into squares or lengthy strips. If you do not have white turnips, you too can use a big onion and purple pores and skin potatoes as an alternative. As soon as the collard greens have cooked, take away them from the pot and serve.