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Pork Smoked Hocks Recipes

Some of our favorites include: Slow Cooked Pork & Beans with Smoked Ham Hock and more!


Slow Cooked Pork & Beans with Smoked Ham Hock


This slow cooked pork and beans with smoked ham hock is like Heinz baked beans for grown ups. Subtly sweet beans paired with smoked pork make for a perfect comfort food classic.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 6 servings




Section 1: Ingredients


  • 1 smoked ham hock

  • 2 cups dry white or brown beans or 3 small cans drained beans of choice

  • 1 red pepper finely diced

  • 2 yellow onions finely diced

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 water 1 can water for canned beans / 2.5 cans water for dry beans*

  • 1.5 tbsp sweet paprika

  • 0.5 teaspoon oregano

  • 0.5 teaspoon summer savoury or thyme

  • 0.25 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt To taste - I used about 1.5 teaspoons

  • 1 teaspoon sugar



Section 2: Directions



1. Preheat oven to 150 C / 300 F.

2. Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot like a Dutch oven and slow cook for 2 hours covered and 2 more hours uncovered.

3. If there is too much liquid at the end then continue cooking uncovered (in oven or on stovetop) while stirring often until reduced.


Notes

IF THERE'S TOO MUCH LIQUID

If the stew hasn't reduced enough either midway through cooking or at the end then continue cooking and remove lid if using + up the heat being sure to stir often (scraping the bottom of the pot) if the heat is very high.

IF THERE'S NOT ENOUGH LIQUID

If using dry beans first check the doneness. If the beans are still hard, add another whole can. If they're almost done then add half a can.

If the beans are done but the stew is just too thick - add water a little at a time - ¼ cup or so - until desired thickness is achieved.

TIPS FOR DIFFERENT COOKING METHODS

Personally I recommend simply using an oven for this if you have the option. The dry heat will caramelize the ingredients and create a beautiful flavour. If you only have a slow cooker or Instant Pot then here are some tips.

OVEN

Since ovens create a dry heat environment you can get some nice browning on the meat and develop good umami flavour from the caramelization of the sugars and proteins in the beans.

Use a heavy bottom pot with a lid (ideally cast iron like a Dutch oven). Slow cook at 150 C / 300 F covered for 2 hours and then uncovered for 2 hours.

SLOW COOKER

If using canned beans then simply put everything in your slow cooker and cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours.

If you start dry beans in the slow cooker it will take a long time at low heat until they're soft. I suggest boiling the beans first (in a regular pot or under pressure) until soft and then put everything in your slow cooker and cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours.

INSTANT POT

If using canned beans then put all the ingredients into the Instant Pot and cook on the slow cooker function set to 'normal' for 3-4 hours.

If using dry beans then follow the same steps but add 1.5 additional cans of water.



Pork Nachos With Ham Hocks


Mucho loaded soul food nachos featuring your typical nacho toppings paired with smoked ham hocks.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8



Section 1: Ingredients


  • 1 Standard Size Bag Of Tortilla Chips

  • 1  bag of Monterrey Jack or Colby Jack cheese

  • 1 smoked ham hock

  • 1 cup Black beans

  • 2 fresh jalapenos sliced

  • 1 avocado half

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped

  • ¼ red onions chopped


Section 2: Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Prepare ham hocks - cut away meaty part with a sharp knife. Then cut-off the thick layer of skin (discard). Cut the meat into small to medium chunks

3. Quickly sear hocks on medium-high heat in a greased skillet (1-2 minutes). Remove and pat dry.

4. Rinse and dry the skillet. Spread half the chips over cookie sheet. Layer half the hocks, jalapenos, black beans, and onions on top of the chips. Top with half the cheese.

5. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and add another layer of chips, ham hocks, jalapenos, beans, onions and cheese and repeat in oven

7. Remove and top with avocado, cilantro and your choice of salsa.

Notes

~ Hocks, because they are smoked, are essentially already cooked so you technically do not need to cook them before baking them as part of the nachos. However, my preference is to give them a quick simmer in the skillet before assembling the nachos for baking.

~ Since nachos require a short cook time, a pre-simmer is good for releasing some of that rich smokey flavor from the hocks. You are basically priming it for the nachos.

~ Another trick I like to employ is cooking the nachos in two stages. I made one layer and then cooked it for about 10 minutes, then added a second layer and cooked for another 10 minutes. This ensures all the cheese including the cheese on the bottom layer melts fully.



Potato Stew with Peas and Ham Hocks


This stew has a classic combination of comforting flavors. Smokey ham hocks and peas mix with hearty potatoes and fresh dill in a sweet tomato base.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Servings: 6



Section 1: Ingredients


  • 1.75 lbs potatoes cubed

  • 2 yellow onions small to medium sized, diced finely

  • 0.80 lb smoked ham hocks

  • 1.5 cups green peas

  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes approx. one small can or tetrapack

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 0.5 cup fresh dill

  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley

  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme about 8-10 threads tied into a bundle

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 0.5 teaspoon white pepper

  • 4.25 cups water


Section 2: Directions

 

1. Dice the onions finely and cut the potatoes into small cubes (1inch max across).

2. Sauté the onions and potatoes in the oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes until the onions are aromatic.

3. Add all the dry seasoning and mix to coat evenly.

4. Add 2 cups water to the pot and cover for 10 or so minutes over medium-high heat until the potatoes are fork tender.

5. Uncover and check if potatoes are fork tender. If not, cover and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and peas. Mix until well combined. Add the meat and a bundle of fresh thyme on top. Push them gently down into the liquid.

7. Cover and cook in the oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes or alternatively on the stovetop over medium-low heat for about 35 minutes.

8. Check half way through, stir and make sure there's still enough liquid (everything isn't clumping together or sticking to the pot). If not enough liquid, stir in another half cup or so to make a stew consistency again.

9. While the stew is cooking, wash and dice up the parsley and dill.

10. When the stew is finished shred the meat and remove any bones. Stir in the fresh parsley and dill, saving a few pinches for garnish if you like.

SUBSTITUTIONS & VARIATIONS

Potato and pea stew is a common staple meal in Romania. In Greece there's a similar dish called Arakas Latheros which shares the same core flavor profile of potatoes and peas cooked in tomato sauce with a lot of fresh dill.

Since the dish is so widespread, there are a ton of variations and a lot of substitutions that can be made to this recipe while still preserving the core flavor profile.

~ Different cuts of pork - instead of ham hocks you can use bacon (brown and drain it first so you don't get too much grease in the stew), or even finely diced ham (ideally smoked).

~Chicken instead of pork - instead of pork you can substitute chicken. I would recommend a bone-in cut like drumsticks or thighs since these pieces will stay juicy and can be shredded into the stew after cooking. If using bone-in chicken then brown it before you do anything else and set it aside until you're ready to put it back in the pot. You can see a similar process in this recipe for chicken and leek soup. If you use chicken breast, then you'll need to dice it up into bite-sized pieces and lightly brown it, remove and set aside until ready to put it back in the stew when the ham hocks would normally go in.

~Swap out the vegetables or add additional types - other vegetables that would be a good match in this stew are cut-up green beans, diced red pepper, diced carrots, or cauliflower florets cut into small pieces. You could also swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes (or use both sweet and white potatoes for variety).

~Swap out the potatoes and peas for beans 










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