Glazed baked pork hocks

Glazed baked pork hocks

By
From
Meat
Serves
4
Photographer
Dean Cambray

The hock is the lower part of a pig’s front leg. It often doesn’t look to be much more than a big bone covered in lots of tough skin. But like other tough-but-tasty cuts, the hock cooks to a lovely juicy tenderness, and all that skin and connective tissue render down to add plenty of gelatine and flavour.

Hocks are sometimes sold fresh, but you’re more likely to find them smoked. The following recipe is a wonderful way to cook smoked hocks as the sweet sticky glaze is brilliant against the rich smoky flavours and is just the thing on a cold winter night.

The secret to this dish is to cook the hocks just long enough so that the meat becomes meltingly tender, but is not completely falling off the bone. You’ll have plenty of delicious stock left over, which you can strain and freeze, or use for making soups, or for braising beans or lentils with some vegies and a slug of wine.

Serve with plenty of creamy, buttery mash and garlicky green beans.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 x 700g smoked pork hocks
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into chunks
2 sticks celery, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 orange, peeled

Glaze

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 cup marsala
200g softened butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
splash brandy

Method

  1. Ask your butcher to remove the knuckle end of the hock and to ‘french’ the bones for a neat presentation.
  2. Put them in a stockpot or large casserole dish with the remaining ingredients and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1½ hours. The meat needs to be very soft, but not falling from the bones. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the hocks to cool in the stock.
  3. When the hocks are completely cold, lift them out of the stock (which you can strain and re-use), and pat dry. Remove the skin and trim away any thick fatty bits (they’ll make a great treat for your dog).
  4. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Use a fork to beat the marsala into the butter. Smear it all over the hocks and sprinkle them with sugar. Arrange the hocks in a deep roasting tin and pour in reserved stock to a depth of about 2 cm. This stops the hocks from sticking to the tin, keeps them moist and reduces down to make a lovely sauce. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the butter and sugar form a shiny dark glaze.
  5. Remove the hocks from the roasting tin and keep warm while you make a quick sauce. Add a splash of brandy to the roasting tin and bubble vigorously over a high heat. Serve the glazed hocks with the sauce and heaps of mashed potatoes.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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