Friday, January 9, 2009

(MarieFinds) A new use for ham hocks

As Jess has previously mentioned, I come from blue collar / widwestern farm stock. I grew up on food that is currently not in vogue. Including ham hocks and beans. What a way to stretch a butchered pig. The Lawyer is from the Pacific Islands, and so has his own food theories. These two backgrounds lead to us eating a lot of, um, cheap cuts of meat. Ham hocks. Oxtail (not so cheap any more!), tilapia (which is getting popular now, damnit), pork belly, salt pork (works great in carbonara, despite the dirty looks I get from Italian chef brother in law!)

Anyway, I found a new recipe for ham hocks and beans. And I LOVE it. Given that my previous recipe was not so much a recipe as "boil pinto beans, garlic, salt and as many ham hocks as you have / want until beans and meat are tender", this is an improvement. And instead of the corn bread I usually do, just crusty bread. Credit where credit is due, it is an Emeril thing. And it's still cheap as chips.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 medium smoked ham hocks, about 4 ounces each
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 pound dried navy white beans
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups water
  • Salt


In a medium Dutch oven with a lid, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the ham hocks in batches, until brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the ham hock and set aside. Add the onions. Season with pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and bay leaves. Season with pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the reserved ham hocks and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat falls of the bone and the beans are creamy. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper

And am I the only one who never gets around to removing the bay leaf?

1 comment:

JESS said...

I used to make ham hock soup all of the time and I remember going to the Honeybaked Ham Company and asking to buy their hocks -- so cheap. I did black beans with them. Yummers.