Pork Hocks

Tin-tin recently blogged about her holiday back home and mentioned food. I really got excited about dinuguan - a spicy soup made from pigs blood - which I really want to try. I am not sure if it can be made here, since I have never seen fresh blood for sale - but I will bug my Filipino friends if they can make it for me here. I may have to plan a trip to the Philippines for that one.

Anyway, all that talk of food make me hungry for a pork dish I do like and know how to make: Pork Hocks.

4 pork hocks
1 tbls salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tbls ground paprika
1 tbls ground cumin
4 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 bulb garlic, chopped (I was lazy and used 1 tbls garlic powder)
Soy Sauce (growing up, my mom used liquid Maggi)

1. Wash the pork hocks.
2. Place them in a large pot.
3. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, paprika and cumin.
4. Add the chopped onions and garlic.
5. Squirt Soy Sauce over it.
6. Fill pot with water and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 3 hours. Add water as necessary to avoid burning.
8. Remove bay leaves when done.

It is best served with mashed potatoes, although, rice is an acceptable substitute.

For special mashed potatoes I recommend you do the following:

1. use the liquid from the pork hock to moisten and season it (instead of butter, milk and salt to season).
2. add sauerkraut to it.

A word on sauerkraut. Make sure you get the good stuff. There is a lot of crappy sauerkraut out there. Sauerkraut has only 2 ingredients: shredded cabbage and salt. There is no wine, no vinegar in it. The cabbage and salt ferment naturally. Sometimes there will be a preservative added like calcium chloride or BHT (which is fine), but please stay away from any that have wine or vinegar added. Some specialty sauerkraut will have other spices or vegetables added (like cumin, which I don't like, or carrots or horseradish root).

If you absolutely must buy sauerkraut prepared with vinegar or wine, then please wash it several times with cold water, put it in a pot and boil for a few minutes and finally wash again to get the vinegar out.

Remove the pork hocks from the liquid, and make a gravy by thickening the liquid with a bit of flour or corn starch (I use cornstarch because it is harder to make lumpy).

Serve with the vegetable of your choice.

Everything, except the bone is edible. I find the skin and fat the best part.

The washed hocks.
Seasoned hocks.

Ready for boiling and then simmering.
Cooked and ready to serve.
Pork hock with mashed potatoes prepared with sauerkraut and drippings from the hocks. I used an extra dark Soy sauce, so it coloured everything much more than usual.
Real sauerkraut does not have wine or vinegar.

Photo credits: Richard of Forbidden Planet


ghee said…
OMG!!! what a dish!!gee,im drooling right now and cant eat in the middle of the night!

we cant find pork with skin here,too bad ,right? i love pork skin,too...that looks like our dish in the phil.

i love dinuguan!! the spicy and hot one!whoah! thats great Richard,traveling to our country for dinuguan?haha!goodluck!

Happy Wednesday!!

oh wow...it looks so oily and fatty!!! sinful sinful food!! Watch that tummy over there Richard hahaha...
tin-tin said…
looks yummy.

you like to taste dinuguan? weird. hehehe. but if you'll visit the philippines for dinuguan, i'll treat you. coz i don't know how to cook that. hehehe ;p
Richard said…
ghee: it is good. Pork is my favourite meat. I much prefer it over beef, which I find too tough and dry (I prefer deer over beef).

elvina: nice to see you back. Ha, ha, what can I say? I am a sinful man.

It is not as greasy as it might seem, most of the fat boils out and can be skimmed off the broth, or let it sit overnight and allow the fat to harden and you can pick it off the top - just remember to take the pork hocks out beforehand.

tin-tin: oh, yes, I do want to try dinuguan. It will likely be a many years before I am heading off to the Philippines, so you have plenty of time to learn to prepare it - I'll even help you kill the pig :P

I love food and am always willing to try new stuff (the main exception is cold, creamy sauces and dips - I don't like most of them). I am still not sure about balut, though. Though, coffee fairy's description did make it sound tempting.
Tena said…
Man, that makes me limp with hunger.

I love pork too, especially the dark part of a roast. Best with slivers of garlic impaled in it.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I left you a message in yesterday's comments.
Richard said…
tena: everyone I have ever served it to likes it (except my kids :(

Looks better (more golden) with a lighter brand of Soy sauce (I don't know and don't want to know how they made it so black)

I always check back on my comments to see if I've gotten a counter comment (I have no life :P
Tena said…
I always check back on my comments to see if I've gotten a counter comment (I have no life :P

Apparently as little as I have.
Richard said…
tena: I don't know if to laugh in solidarity or weep in pity.

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