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Cider-Braised Ham Hocks

Cider-Braised Ham Hocks

The hock is an often overlooked cut of pork. It is the portion of a pig below the ham or shoulders and above the trotter.

The hock is a tough muscle, lean muscle that requires slow cooking in order to a pleasurable eating experience. Given that it is a commonly used muscle, it is full of flavor, much like the ham.

Cider-Braised Ham Hocks

: 4-6
: medium


  • pasture-raised hocks
  • 1 cup of homemade chicken stock
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes chopped
  • 1 sliced onion and some celery
  • salt
  • and a certified organic dry apple cider with no added sugars
  • 2TBS butter
  • another cup of chicken stock
  • mustard - this is organic horseradish mustard
  • a diced shallot
  • heavy cream
  • and salt
  • Step 1 1. I get things going by sprinkling salt on all sides of the pork
  • Step 2 2. I put the hocks, two at at time, in my pre-heated and oiled enamel cast iron braiser for browning.
  • Step 3 3. I sear the top and bottom of the hock Once sufficiently browned, I remove the hocks and brown the other 2
  • Step 4 4. Next, I add the onion and celery with some salt. My goal is just to sweat them, not to caramelize
  • Step 5 5. Now it is time to add the sweet potatoes.
  • Step 6 6. With the sweet potatoes slightly softened, I add the hocks back to the braiser
  • Step 7 7. I add the chicken stock ….. and then the cider
  • Step 8 8. I lid the braiser and put it into a preheated over set to 325˚F for 2 hours.
  • Step 9 While the hocks are braising I prepare the the mustard cream sauce.
  • Step 10 9. To start the sauce, I melt the butter in a saucepan
  • Step 11 10. Next, I add the shallots and a pinch of salt
  • Step 12 11. Once the shallots are sweated, I add the chicken stock. If you want a thicker sauce, only add 1/2 cup
  • Step 13 12. Now I add about three spoons of mustard
  • Step 14 13. And then I add the cream – only about 1/4 cup or so
  • Step 15 14. I just let that simmer and reduce

After 2 hours in the over, the hocks should be ready.  I am serving the hocks over sautéed cabbage.  Once plating the hock I spoon both the vegetable cider mix onto the hock as well as the mustard cream sauce.  The sauce is a little thinner than I would have liked.  This could have been reduced further or I could have added less chicken stock.

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