I've never used ham hocks or bacon. But I can see how that would make the chili better, give it a nice smokey flavor. This recipe really sounds interesting. I just might have to give it a try.
Laast night I made a pretty easy chili using a 24 oz. can of enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup sweet yellow bell pepper cut into large chunks, 19 oz. can of tomatoes, 24 oz. can of dark-red kidney beans, one medium, yellow-onion, quartered, then each quarter sliced in half along the horizontal axis 1/3 cup hot chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, one stalk celery, sliced, and 2 bay leaves.
For the meat, I combined 1/2 lb. of lean ground beef with 1/2 lb. of Mexican-style Chorizo. Oh, I also added about 1 tsp. each coriander and cumin.
I'm eating it right now for lunch. It came out pretty tasty.
But using smoked ham-hocks, that just sounds interesting.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North