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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles

    Hello. I just made the Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles from Kitchen. They were great but I have a few questions. The fresh ham hocks had some patches of hair on them which you could still see on the crispy, chewy skin after cooking. I don't know if that's normal as I've never had this dish before. Should I discard those bits or do you eat them anyway? Also, the recipe doesn't specify what kinds of apples to use. I tried using Granny Smith but they turned into (delicious) mush. I know there are some better apples for baking but what apples could survive being baked for 2.5 hours? Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

    From the nigella team:

    For the fresh ham hocks (pork knuckles) in the Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles your butcher will normally scrape the skin clean of any hairs. Quite often the skin is scalded with hot water first then scraped with a thin blade. If you do see any hairs on the knuckles then you can either follow this procedure to remove them, or singe them off with a match or over a gas flame. If singeing please do this extremely carefully and keep hands well clear of any flame. If there are hairs on the cooked knuckle than you can eat the skin, but this is very much up to your personal taste.

    For the apples a firm eating apple is best, we would suggest something like a Pink Lady apple.

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