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
- pasture-raised hocks
- 1 cup of homemade chicken stock
- 2 medium sweet potatoes chopped
- 1 sliced onion and some celery
- 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.