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The humble ham hock

The humble ham hock

Ham hock comes from where the foot of the pig joins the leg, and is another one of those cheap and plentiful cuts of meat that is both popular and delicious. Treated with a little time and care, it releases wonderful flavours and tender meat.


Preheat the oven to 160ºC and thoroughly was the hock under cold running water. Put the hock into a large casserole dish and cover with boiling water. Cover the pot, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour off the cooking liquid, leaving the hock in the pan.

Pour in the cider to just cover the hock and add the other ingredients. Cover and place in the bottom of the oven. Cook for three hours (checking occasionally that it hasn’t boiled dry – adding more cider if it needs it – and skimming the surface if necessary), until the meat is tender and coming away from the bone.

Remove from the oven, take the hock out of the pot and put it on a board and leave to stand for half an hour or so until it’s cool enough to handle. Using a small, sharp knife and a fork, pull the meat away from the bone, then shred it all into thin strands. When you’ve done this, put the hock to one side until you’re ready to use it in your dish.



1 x ham hock 1.5l cider 1 x carrot, roughly chopped 3x sticks celery, roughly chopped 2 large onions (or 4 small), halved and then roughly chopped into crescents 2x bay leaves 1x small bunch of thyme, tied