Fresh hocks are normally from the front leg. Smoked ham hocks are from the hind leg. Weights can be highly variable, depending on the cutting practices of the individual processor.
Fresh hocks have a high connective tissue content which makes them ideal for braising.
Smoked ham hocks may have a high sodium content in which case they should be soaked in cold water before use.
Other Names: Pork shank, Pork knuckles, Golonka
To prepare, simmer in water with aromatics (bay leaves, peppercorns, celery, onion, carrots) until the "spoon" bone loosens, 2-3 hours. Drain, reserving liquid for soup or stock. Remove skin and fat.
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