Rachel Khoo: Beer-doused ham hock | Mail Online:
- A ham hock (or hough) or pork knuckle is the lower leg segment of the hind leg of the pig.
2 ham hocks (each approx 1.2kg) or 4 small ones (each approx 600g)
1.5 L blonde beer
80g salt, plus extra to season
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 2tbsp of the juice
10 black peppercorns
4 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
1 stick of celery, cut in half
250g Puy or green lentils
A small bunch of fresh parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
Score the skin of the ham hocks with a sharp knife.
Pour 1.25 L of the beer and 750ml water into a large bowl and stir in the 80g of salt until it has completely dissolved.
Add the zest and peppercorns.
Submerge the hocks in the brine, making sure they are completely covered.
Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
Remove the hocks from the brine.
Stir the honey and mustard together and rub it all over the hocks.
Place the onions, carrots and celery in a large roasting dish and top with the hocks.
Pour over 250ml water and the remaining beer.
Cover with a layer of baking paper, followed by a layer of foil.
Cook in the oven for 3.5-4 hours (2.5-3 hours if using 4 small hocks), basting the meat regularly with the juices and turning the hocks around from time to time.
The meat should be falling off the bone.
For the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, remove the foil.
Meanwhile cook the lentils according to the packet instructions.
Drain and toss with the parsley, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Shred the ham and serve with the lentils, carrots and onions and some of the roasting juices poured over the top.