OK, I have to be honest here, I wasn't a huge fan of pork knuckles/ham hocks ever in my life - or whatever you want to call them - but there is one (well two really) ways I'll eat them. First is the jellied pig's feet and now this! Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson's book "Kitchen". If you only can - try it! Especially that you can get pork hocks at butcher's for nothing! This dish is what I call a 'men's food' ;) but it doesn't mean that a woman can't enjoy it too! Oh, and just one thing of caution - I know that in some countries (like Poland) it is 'a point of honor' to eat whole pork knuckle, but trust me guys you don't want to do it... one generous ham hock is good for 2, not 1 person!
How to make it...
- 2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 teaspoon pouring salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (cumin seeds)
- 2 garlic cloves (I added 3)
- 2 pork knuckles/hocks, their rind scored
- 2 onions
- 2 eating apples, cored and quartered
- 4 baking potatoes or just under 1 kg main crop potatoes, cut into quarters
- 500 ml good amber or dark beer
- 500 ml boiling water (I didn't have to use any)
Preheat oven to 220 C. Put salt, caraway seeds, grated garlic and mix everything well together. Rub the mixture into the pork hocks.
Peel the onions, slice into rounds and cover the bottom of the roasting tin with them. Sit the hocks on top and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take the tin out and quickly arrange apples, potatoes around the hocks and pour half the beer over. Put back into the oven for 2 hours and lower the temperature to 170 C.
Turn the oven up again to 220 C, baste the hocks with the rest of the beer and leave to cook at the higher temperature for another 30 minutes.
Take the tin out of the oven and transfer the apples and potatoes to a warmed dish. Lift the hocks onto a carving board, leaving the onion and juices in the tin. Put the tin on the hob over a medium heat and add 500 ml boiling water (I had enough juices and didn't have to add any water), stirring to de-glaze the pan and make gravy. I took all the onions with the juicec and put it through the sieve - which created nice thick gravy!
Take the crackling off the pork and break into pieces, pull apart or carve the meat and serve with potatoes, gravy and maybe some German mustard.