Your First Brine…Ham Hocks

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Hocks are not one of those food items that are sexy, popular or even generally used by themselves. But if you can get your hands on a few they are delicious and a perfect candidate for brining. Once cured they are a great addition to stews sauces and soups. Personally I like to combine the cured hock meat with my pulled pork to add that classic cure flavour and serve it with a great slaw on a fresh tortilla…

What you need:

  • 4-6 Ham Hocks (ask your butcher)
  • 4 litres of water
  • 350g kosher salt
  • 225g sugar
  • 40g pink salt (sodium nitrite)

How it’s done:

  • Place all the ingredients (except hocks) in a sauce pan large enough to hold all the hocks and simmer until everything is dissolved.
  • Let the brine cool and refrigerate until cold.
  • Add the hocks and cover with a weighted plate to make sure the hocks are thoroughly submerged and refrigerate for three days.
  • After the allotted time, remove the hocks from the brine (discard the brine), rinse and let stand in your refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  • You can either hot smoke or heat in the oven (200F/95C) until the hocks reach an internal temperature of 150F/65C.
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