In additional to the joy my wife and I get from preparing, photographing and enjoying delicious food, we also make a concerted effort to see where our food comes from and to know as many farmers as possible.
Our efforts to understand our food sources better has led us to the conclusion that one of the biggest opportunities to improve things for the farmers and their animals, is a return to using as many cuts from each, and every animal as possible. Beyond the mainstream cuts of roasts, chops, ribs and bacon there are so many delicious and underutilized cuts to be enjoyed. One of my personal favourites is Pork Hocks.
If you’re not familiar with pork hocks, they are the lower leg, located just above the hoof (foot).
It’s a meaty cut of meat, encased in a thick layer of skin and fat, that when treated with just a little time & care will reveal some of the most moist, tender and flavourful meat you’ve ever enjoyed.
I’m sharing a recipe that I believe showcases the deliciousness of the hock, in a very straight forward preparation, that finishes with a very familiar taste and texture that you may associate with the joys of barbecuing your favourite ribs or chops.
I hope that you will try this recipe and then consider trying different cuts and preparations until you discover your next favourite meal!
As always, I encourage you to ask questions about your food sources and whenever possible get to #knowyourfarmer.
- 3 large Ontario Pork Hocks
- 2 apples
- 2 carrots
- 1 large onion (or equivalent in shallots or pearl onions)
- 6 cloves
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaf
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1½ cups BBQ sauce (homemade or basic store bought)
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons fresh chopped thyme for every hock
Cut the carrots & celery into large pieces, stud the onion with the cloves. Place the ham hocks in a deep pot, add the apples, onion, carrots, celery and herbs, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring slowly to the boil over a medium-low heat, then gently simmer for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the grill (or oven) to 375°F. Carefully remove the ham hocks from the liquid and place them on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and trim off any excess fat to reveal the pink meat underneath. Place the hocks on the grill for 10 minutes to dry the surface of the meat.
Meanwhile, gently warm the BBQ Sauce in a saucepan. After 10 minutes, baste the hocks with the sauce, grill for 20 minutes more basting every 6 to 8 minutes until the hocks are glistening and crispy.
Serve with fresh crisp apples and grainy mustard, alongside roasted seasonal vegetables & potatoes.
- PREP TIME 15 MINS
- COOK TIME 3 HRS
- SERVES 6
If you like this Pork Hock recipe, you can fine more of my favourite pork recipes here.