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Pork Knuckles or Ham Hocks...

Asked by RenateAngela. Answered on 7th October 2012

Full question

I saw a wonderful recipe for either ham hocks, or pork knuckles, I can't remember which, on one of Nigella's shows on American television. I would love to have the recipe, but I can't find it on the site. It is not the pork belly recipe! Thank you so much.

Our answer

Nigella has two recipes that fit your description and both appear in her book Kitchen. Both pork knuckles and ham hocks are from the shank part of the pig's leg, that is the section between the knee and the ankle/top of the trotter. Generally it is known as a pork knuckle or pork hock if it is fresh and uncured, and as a ham hock if it is cured. However the US can refer to uncured pork legs as "fresh hams" so there can be some confusion.

Ham Hocks in Cider appears on p.367 of Kitchen. It uses smoked cured ham hocks and these are simmered in cider (or hard cider in the US) and water, then served with Leeks in White Sauce (recipe also in Kitchen).

Beer Braised Pork Knuckles With Caraway, Garlic, Apples and Potatoes is closer to a traditional German Schweinshaxe dish and appears on p.380 of Kitchen. The fresh pork knuckles are flavoured with a rub made from garlic and caraway and braised in the oven with a little beer. The apples and potatoes are cooked in the roasting pan with the pork.

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