Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hock, Anyone?

courtesy of
With a half-a-pig on its way in a couple months, I'm busy cleaning out the freezer of the last of Trevor the Pig.  After eating all the pork chops and shoulder steaks and bratwurst links, I was left with just a fresh hock in a freezer sealed bag.

I can't say as I ever had a pork hock before. does one do with a pork hock, anyway?

(This is why it was the last part of the pig in my freezer.)

After talking with friend who I swear knows how to cook everything, and looking online, I decided that a slow braising followed by rich, barley-enhanced simmer into a soup was in order.  It sure smelled great while it was cooking, and the final product?  Fantastic.

Rich Pork Hock Soup for Fall

You'll need: one fresh pork hock; one bottle of good beer; a little oil/fat of your choice; four carrots, diced; three stalks of celery, diced; two potatoes, peeled and diced; one quart of diced, canned tomatoes; 1/2 cup of medium barley; water, about four cups; salt and pepper to taste.

To get things started, heat a little fat in a dutch oven.  Brown the hock, and then pour in the beer.  Pop on the lid and place dutch oven in the oven at 350 degrees.  Allow meat to simmer for about an hour or so, until it is deeply browned and tender.

Remove the dutch oven from the oven, and put on the stove.  Add carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes and barley.  Cover with water and season with salt and pepper, replace the lid, and simmer for a couple of hours.  Remove the pork hock, meat and bones, and shred the meat with a fork.  Add the meat back into the soup pot, and heat through.  Serve with crusty bread or biscuits, and prepare yourself for deliciousness.

So, now you know what to do with a pork hock. 

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