Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ham Hocks

I've picked quite a few black-eyed peas lately (technically, I've had Mississippi purple-hulls, but they are both just different varieties of the same plant). Anyway, the best way to eat any of the "southern" pea varieties is boiled, with a smoked pork product. Accordingly, I picked up some ham hocks to go with my peas.

Ham hocks are the portion of the leg below the ham (or shoulder) that is to narrow and bony to be much good by itself. They are usually smoked and used to flavor soup. Here is a photo of three hocks sitting on the foam tray from the store:

The hocks are all more or less the size of my fist. They have been lightly salted and cured like ham, then smoked. There are a couple of tablespoons of meat on each one, along with a bit of fat for flavor. This is a very simple recipe: a couple of pounds of peas, a couple or three ham hocks, enough water to cover. Boil until the peas are tender--about 20 minutes for fresh peas, or an hour for dried peas.

This is what my peas looked like while I cooked them:


Here's Jasper (remember Jasper?) with his hocks marked out.


bebibl70 said...

Hi Aaron: This is Gigi and I have just read ALL of your blogs. With my travels I have been behind and now I have read about all of the garden produce. How interesting and tasty. Also, read about the ham hocks. But you can have the menudo.
Of course Laura's blog is different and most interesting. May phone to learn where you will be mid day on Labor Day, Sept. 3. I'm planning to be in Greenville the Sunday before and will start driving north on Labor Day. Love, Gigi

Sparky's Mom said...

Your picture of the cooking peas makes me hungry. They are one of my very favorite vegetables, or maybe I mean legumes. Whatever, I love them, especially when served with with green tomato relish. Mmmm.