Originally Posted by LPBeier
So, pork hocks are ham? This is kind of funny because he really doesn't like ham. He also doesn't like anything with beans (chili, pork and beans) but said he likes pork hocks and white beans.
I did find some recipes under ham hocks and beans but they didn't seem like what he described.
What did he describe?
In it's purest form - this is the basic technique for 1-lb white beans (that I learned from my grandmother) - Great Northern, Navy or Butter beans (really works with any kind of dried bean) :
1 - pick over, wash, drain, and add beans to a pot ... cover with cold water and soak overnight. Drain well when ready to cook.
2 - Make your "hock stock" - add the hocks to a 5-6 qt pot, add 2 qts of cold water (or a little more to cover) - bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer gently 1-4 hours.
3 - Remove the hocks to a plate and allow to cool until you can handle them. Cut the meat from the bones, dice it up (remove the skin if you wish), and add the meat and bones back to the pot. Drain and add the beans. Bring back to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour (add more water if necessary) - or until the beans are done to the degree that you want. Remove the bones and serve. I don't season (S&P) until the end of cooking.
OPTIONS: Some people like to saute a chopped onion in a little bacon drippin's - then add the water and hocks. Some people just add a quartered onion. Some people like to add a couple of bay leaves - either at the start of making the stock or when the beans are added. Some recipes call for other herbs and stuff like carrots, bell peppers, celery, etc.
You can also dice up a pound of smoked bacon and use that in place of the hocks (only requires an hour simmering), or salt pork (dice and blanch to remove some of the salt first) and simmer for about an hour. You can also replace the hocks with smoked turkey wings and/or legs.
I like mine served over a big wedge of cornbread, split and buttered, placed in the bottom of a bowl, and the beans poured on top.
The places around here use the terms for smoked ham/pork hocks interchangeably. And, the hocks we get are the knees - cut from just above the knee (the shank ham end) and just below the knee (the top of the shank which is usually the top part of pig's feet).