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Thread: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

  1. #1
    KenK Guest

    Default Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?

    TIA

    Ken


    --
    "When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
    remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner







  2. #2
    Mr. Bill Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    On 23 Jan 2009 13:36:16 GMT, KenK <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    >(I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    >beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?



    Bay leaf.



  3. #3
    Melba's Jammin' Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    KenK <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Ken


    I'd add a bay leaf.
    Do you like the results of your recipe? If you do, don't be mucking
    around with it.
    Ask at a meat market for fresh hocks; if they don't have them as a
    matter of course, they should certainly be able to get them for you.

    --
    -Barb, Mother Superior, HOSSSPoJ
    http://web.me.com/barbschaller
    http://gallery.me.com/barbschaller/100041
    -- a woman my age shouldn't
    have this much fun!

  4. #4
    blake murphy Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    On Fri, 23 Jan 2009 08:11:21 -0600, Melba's Jammin' wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > KenK <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    >> (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    >> beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >>
    >> TIA
    >>
    >> Ken

    >
    > I'd add a bay leaf.


    i add a bay leaf for bean soup, at any rate. i haven't made the beans as a
    side dish. i don't think black pepper would be amiss.

    your pal,
    blake

  5. #5
    phaeton Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    On Jan 23, 7:36*am, KenK <inva...@invalid.com> wrote:
    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Ken
    >
    > --
    > "When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
    > remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner



    I recently started a discussion on this subject (look back about 3
    weeks).

    Someone suggested trying smoked pork chops (Hispanic markets tend to
    carry them?) instead of a hamhock. The smoking is the same, but I
    would expect to end up with more meat and less fat at the end of the
    cooking process.


    Otherwise, yeah. Beans and Hamhocks are one of those meals where the
    beauty is in the simplicity.

    -Jared

  6. #6
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    "KenK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Ken
    >
    >
    > --
    > "When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
    > remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner
    >
    >


    Toss in a couple of bay leaves and black pepper.

    Jill


  7. #7
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    "KenK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Ken
    >


    Bay leaves. 2 of them. Fish them out when the hocks are done

    Jill


  8. #8
    Sheldon Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    KenK wrote:
    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?



    Needs celery, carrots, and some kind of greens; collards are good.
    There really is no limit to what ingredients go well with beans; some
    red bell pepper, parsley, a bay leaf, and cook in chicken stock, or
    pork stock is better.

    I don't know why you'd prefer unsmoked hocks, beans cry out for
    smokiness... but for fresh pork most any cut will do, a couple-three
    shoulder chops, a hunk of shoulder with the skin on would be poifect.
    I think it's far easier to find fresh pork than smoked.

    This is beans with ham hocks:
    http://i39.tinypic.com/j7x1eb.jpg

    All cooked and ready to dig in, thickerer & yummy:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/9lk6x3.jpg


  9. #9
    KenK Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    Sheldon <[email protected]> wrote in news:d26f6b5a-1c5d-48e0-aa85-
    [email protected]:

    > I don't know why you'd prefer unsmoked hocks


    Fresh ham hocks, to me, have a distinctive taste, which I like. I
    probably prefer them because my mother used them in the recipe.

    Ken


    --
    "When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
    remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner







  10. #10
    cybercat Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "phaeton" <[email protected]> wrote
    >Someone suggested trying smoked pork chops (Hispanic markets tend to
    >carry them?) instead of a hamhock. The smoking is the same, but I
    >would expect to end up with more meat and less fat at the end of the
    >cooking process.


    Why not just use ham? I buy thick ham steaks, the brand is usually "Dinner
    Bell," I think. They come with fat on the edges. I dice up a large one,
    leaving the fat on, and brown meat and fat then add it when the beans have
    simmered for an hour, and simmer for another hour, very gently. Turns out
    wonderful. Hocks have an unhealthy, greasy taste to me. Like old grease or
    something.



  11. #11
    Sheldon Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    On Jan 23, 11:52´┐Żam, KenK <inva...@invalid.com> wrote:
    > Sheldon <PENMAR...@aol.com> wrote in news:d26f6b5a-1c5d-48e0-aa85-
    > f56923c2e...@q30g2000vbn.googlegroups.com:
    >
    > > I don't know why you'd prefer unsmoked hocks

    >
    > Fresh ham hocks, to me, have a distinctive taste, which I like. I
    > probably prefer them because my mother used them in the recipe.


    I don't think fresh ham hocks have any flavor, they contain very
    little meat, they impart fat and colagen is all. If you want fresh
    pork flavor choose a meatier cut... a few country style ribs.

  12. #12
    cybercat Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "blake murphy" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > i add a bay leaf for bean soup, at any rate. i haven't made the beans as
    > a
    > side dish. i don't think black pepper would be amiss.


    I put bay in every soup I make except chicken.



  13. #13
    l, not -l Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    On 23-Jan-2009, phaeton <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Someone suggested trying smoked pork chops (Hispanic markets tend to
    > carry them?) instead of a hamhock. The smoking is the same, but I
    > would expect to end up with more meat and less fat at the end of the
    > cooking process.


    A smoked pork shank will provide the same benefits as smoked pork chops, at
    1/3 the cost. Also, you get the added benefit of flavor and texture
    benefits added by the marrow and collagen from the bone, as with a smoked
    ham hock. Where I live (STL), hocks and shanks are generally priced the
    same, or nearly so; making shanks a big bargain if you like more meat in
    your beans or greens.
    --
    Change Cujo to Juno in email address.

  14. #14
    Theron Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "l, not -l" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:sOmel.11533$[email protected]..
    >
    > On 23-Jan-2009, phaeton <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Someone suggested trying smoked pork chops (Hispanic markets tend to
    >> carry them?) instead of a hamhock. The smoking is the same, but I
    >> would expect to end up with more meat and less fat at the end of the
    >> cooking process.

    >
    > A smoked pork shank will provide the same benefits as smoked pork chops,
    > at
    > 1/3 the cost. Also, you get the added benefit of flavor and texture
    > benefits added by the marrow and collagen from the bone, as with a smoked
    > ham hock. Where I live (STL), hocks and shanks are generally priced the
    > same, or nearly so; making shanks a big bargain if you like more meat in
    > your beans or greens.
    > --
    >

    There's a lot more flavor in the soup made with the hock or shank. You use
    the meat from the shank, but you're also making a ham stock, albiet a dilute
    one, from the bone and surrounding tissues. The shank or hock has a lot more
    flavor than does the bone attached to a pork chop. The meat from the chop is
    less flavorful and the meat dries out more than the hock meat.

    Theron




  15. #15
    cybercat Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "Theron" <[email protected]> wrote
    >>

    > There's a lot more flavor in the soup made with the hock or shank. You use
    > the meat from the shank, but you're also making a ham stock, albiet a
    > dilute one, from the bone and surrounding tissues. The shank or hock has a
    > lot more flavor than does the bone attached to a pork chop. The meat from
    > the chop is less flavorful and the meat dries out more than the hock meat.
    >

    I'll agree about the shank, but the hock is just too brown-greasy for me,
    with too much gristle and ugh, crap. I like to include the bone and marrow
    in everything I roast or braise. But not in chicken stock.



  16. #16
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    KenK <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    >
    > TIA
    >
    > Ken


    I add a bit of chopped celery and carrot to that, along with some white
    pepper to taste. A very, very small amount of cumin also helps but I
    don't do that all the time.

    Ham hocks also work with lentils or split peas, or rice if you want to
    get creative. <g>

    If you try the rice, add some peas.
    --
    Peace! Om

    "Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." -- Anonymous

  17. #17
    Omelet Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?

    In article
    <d26f6[email protected]>,
    Sheldon <[email protected]> wrote:

    > KenK wrote:
    > > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?

    >
    >
    > Needs celery, carrots, and some kind of greens; collards are good.
    > There really is no limit to what ingredients go well with beans; some
    > red bell pepper, parsley, a bay leaf, and cook in chicken stock, or
    > pork stock is better.
    >
    > I don't know why you'd prefer unsmoked hocks, beans cry out for
    > smokiness... but for fresh pork most any cut will do, a couple-three
    > shoulder chops, a hunk of shoulder with the skin on would be poifect.
    > I think it's far easier to find fresh pork than smoked.
    >
    > This is beans with ham hocks:
    > http://i39.tinypic.com/j7x1eb.jpg
    >
    > All cooked and ready to dig in, thickerer & yummy:
    > http://i41.tinypic.com/9lk6x3.jpg


    Glad to see you cooked that down. ;-) I was gonna say...

    It's posts like this that keep you out of my killfiles!
    You actually do know how to cook...
    --
    Peace! Om

    "Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." -- Anonymous

  18. #18
    Omelet Guest

    Default Bay Leaves (was Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?)

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "jmcquown" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "KenK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    > > I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    > > (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    > > beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?
    > >
    > > TIA
    > >
    > > Ken
    > >

    >
    > Bay leaves. 2 of them. Fish them out when the hocks are done
    >
    > Jill


    Ok, please forgive me....

    but,

    I finally tried bay leaves for the first time a couple of years ago. I
    still have some of what I bought in the spice cabinet.

    I've tried various soup/stew recipes with and without them and I cannot
    taste the difference.

    What is the hype with bay leaves please? Am I just genetically unable
    to taste them? Or should I start trying ground leaves?
    --
    Peace! Om

    "Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." -- Anonymous

  19. #19
    Theron Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "cybercat" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:gld2al$h86$[email protected]..
    >
    > "Theron" <[email protected]> wrote
    >>>

    >> There's a lot more flavor in the soup made with the hock or shank. You
    >> use the meat from the shank, but you're also making a ham stock, albiet a
    >> dilute one, from the bone and surrounding tissues. The shank or hock has
    >> a lot more flavor than does the bone attached to a pork chop. The meat
    >> from the chop is less flavorful and the meat dries out more than the hock
    >> meat.
    >>

    > I'll agree about the shank, but the hock is just too brown-greasy for me,
    > with too much gristle and ugh, crap. I like to include the bone and marrow
    > in everything I roast or braise. But not in chicken stock.
    >

    To address that I have simmered the hock in water that I would add to the
    soup. When the fat rises to the surface I remove it with a separator funnel,
    and then remove the edible meat. At that point you can flavor your stock
    with anything you want, including onion, celery, carrot, and a bit of
    chicken stock, along wth any seasoning. All of that is optional, and up to
    the chef. Then you make your bean soup with the stock you've created. I
    think the hock meat has a consistency and taste more suited to beans than
    shank or chop. Our local Alsatian restaurant does this when he makes
    cassoulet. For that version he leaves the lamb out. I've made cassoulet that
    way myself.

    Theron






  20. #20
    Theron Guest

    Default Re: Ham hocks and beans improvements?


    "Sheldon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > KenK wrote:
    >> I've made ham hocks and beans for many many years. I use smoked ham hock
    >> (I prefer fresh but they are very hard to find), chopped onions, northern
    >> beans and a bit of garlic. Anything others add that I'm missing?

    >
    >
    > Needs celery, carrots, and some kind of greens; collards are good.
    > There really is no limit to what ingredients go well with beans; some
    > red bell pepper, parsley, a bay leaf, and cook in chicken stock, or
    > pork stock is better.
    >
    > I don't know why you'd prefer unsmoked hocks, beans cry out for
    > smokiness... but for fresh pork most any cut will do, a couple-three
    > shoulder chops, a hunk of shoulder with the skin on would be poifect.
    > I think it's far easier to find fresh pork than smoked.
    >
    > This is beans with ham hocks:
    > http://i39.tinypic.com/j7x1eb.jpg
    >
    > All cooked and ready to dig in, thickerer & yummy:
    > http://i41.tinypic.com/9lk6x3.jpg
    >
    >

    I vote for smokiness. That's what the dish is all about.




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