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Ontario Pork Blog

25 September 2019

Let's hock about it: off-cut amazingness

Ontario Pork Hocks

Let's hock about it: off-cut amazingness

James Synowicki

James Synowicki (aka @zimmysnook) is a home chef who loves to grill year-round. Along with his wife Elaine, who is his partner in life, crime and eating well, they have begun working with, and passionately promoting the stories of local Canadian food producers/purveyors, as well as companies that share their passion for quality, innovation and design.

My philosophy is: Buy the freshest ingredients, prepare them simply and enjoy with friends and family. #KnowYourFarmer


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.


New thanksgiving thrill: These delicious hocks make a fantastic Thanksgiving meal surrounded by all the traditional sides!




Yield: Serves 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours

 

Ingredients:

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 leaves

Pinch sea salt

 

Barbecue Sauce

1½ cups (375 ml) barbecue sauce

6 tablespoons (90 ml) honey

3 tablespoons (45 ml) apple cider vinegar

1½ teaspoons (7 ml) fresh chopped thyme for every hock

 

Cooking Instructions:

Cut carrots and celery into large pieces, stud onion with the cloves. Place ham hocks in a deep pot, add apples, onion, carrots, celery and herbs, cover with cold water and add pinch of salt. Bring slowly to a boil over 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 ham hocks from the liquid and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, remove skin and trim off any excess fat to reveal the pink meat underneath. Place hocks on the grill for 10 minutes to dry the surface of the meat.

Meanwhile, gently warm the barbecue 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 and potatoes.

 

New thanksgiving thrill: These delicious hocks make a fantastic Thanksgiving meal surrounded by all the traditional sides! 

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