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Ham hocks: bought unsmoked, not sure what to do with them.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Was planning on making a ham hock and split pea soup recipe I saw on FoodTV.com but accidentally bought two unsmoked/uncooked ham hocks (well, the package says "pork hocks").
Can I still make the soup with them? I'm wondering about cooking times: the one recipe I saw was for an hour -- basically long enough to cook the dried split yellow peas -- but I'm thinking that I'd want to sear and braise for at least a couple of hours.
Thoughts?
Any other recipes? Saw some Chinese dishes (tripe soups) and pork hock and sauerkraut recipes through Google, but they didn't sound too appealing to me anyways.

TIA!
post #2 of 12
Braised pork hocks, though not nice to look at, are one of the tastiest things you will ever eat. You can certainly use them for your soup, but yes, you will need to cook them for a while first, without the peas and make a pork stock. This will take a few hours, but it is absolutely worth it. Gelatinous, rich and delicious.
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post #3 of 12
They're right tasty when prepared well. You may want to roast them in a slow oven with some sour kraut, perhaps a sprinkle of brown sugar and a sliced apple and onion. A slow cooker works well for this too!

Growing up, Mom used to make pork hocks by simmering them for quite awhile and then serving them with cabbage and dumplings.

You can also pickle them, if so, there are quite a few recipes out there for that.
post #4 of 12
without the smoke, they're likely to taste more like a pork chop. You could treat them pretty much the same way you would a lamb shank, or a veal shank... the shank, after all, is connected to the hock! :)
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
That makes sense to me. Now, there's quite a bit of a fat cap on them -- should I trim that off? I'm thinking searing and braising for a few hours in a dutch oven with maybe apple cider or juice with a few apples, sage, garlic, and peppercorns.
post #6 of 12
smoke 'em if you got 'em :smoking:
post #7 of 12
Just a thought - prepare them as for pigs trotters
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #8 of 12
I don't usually take it off, but then the ones I get are smoked (not cured) and I usually cook them with beans or greens. If I were cooking them like lamb shanks or osso buco, I think I'd trim SOME of the cap off first, but I would keep it and render the fat for later use.

We've been so conditioned in US to fear cooking with animal fat, and truth is, it's not unhealthy for us -- actually better than many of the vegetable oils most folks cook with and think they're doing themselves a favor!

That prep you mentioned sounds really good. you might want to toss some onions in there? and maybe a couple of cut up potatoes and carrots for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking. Add a green veggie and you'll have a FEAST!

I love pork! :roll:
post #9 of 12
I give up, "pigs trotters"?
post #10 of 12
those would be the feet. :)
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Me too! :D

I guess there's two meals out of this: go the hearty potato, green veg, and (optional) beans route with a cider-based stock...
or stick with the original split pea soup, and keep the stock simple (carrots, celery, onions, bouquet garni, etc.). For pork presentation, I'm thinking of definitely shredding it for the soup but I think bone-in would be presentable with the former hearty dish.
post #12 of 12

Trotters

...and they are yummy little fellers when done right...all that gelatine :lips: Ahhhh
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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