Our unsmoked cured hock comes from the best, local suppliers. We have always been very selective. We source local meat from farms in Wiltshire and Somerset, and make sure that we get the very best and most sustainable breeds for the season. At every stage, we promote traditional, sustainable farming practices that make for happy pigs and delighted customers. Free range practices make for happier, healthier pigs and result in a far more delicious product. Add this unsmoked cured hock to your basket and we’re sure you will agree.
The best meat deserves the best preparation. That’s why we work with master butchers who have cured and aged this unsmoked cured hock to the very highest standard. We go to this effort to maintain the quality you have come to expect from The Black Farmer.
The Black Farmer unsmoked cured hock is suitable for home freezing. If you choose to freeze your meat, make sure you defrost it thoroughly before cooking. The easiest way is to refrigerate overnight. This pack contains 1 piece.
- Make a brine to keep the ham hocks moist and flavorful. In a large bowl, mix 8 cups (1.9 L) of water with ¾ cup (96 grams) of salt and ¾ cup (96 grams) of brown sugar for every 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of ham hocks. Stir all the brine ingredients together with a spoon or whisk until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
- To add more flavor to your ham hocks, add additional spices or seasonings to your brine, such as 2 bay leaves or 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) of black peppercorns.
2. Place the ham hocks into the brine. Add each of the ham hocks to the bowl holding the brine one at a time. As you place them in the bowl, make sure that each piece gets completely coated. Once all are coated with the brine, cover the bowl with a lid.
- If the bowl holding the brine isn’t large enough to hold all the ham hocks, you can separate the brine evenly into 2 or more bowls or large resealable plastic baggies. Then, divide up the ham hocks and add the appropriate number to each bowl or baggie of brine and cover or close to prevent any leaking.
3. Refrigerate the ham hocks in the brine for 3 to 7 days. To give the ham hocks time to soak up the liquid, place them in the refrigerator and let them rest for 3 to 7 days. This will ensure that the meat won’t dry out in the smoker.
- If your ham hocks are brining in resealable baggies, you may want to flip the bags over every day or so to ensure that the brine is evenly distributed across the ham hocks.
4.Dry the ham docks on a rack in the refrigerator. Remove the brining ham hocks from the refrigerator. Take the ham hocks out of the brine and rinse them briefly under cold water. Then, lay the ham hocks on a rack and place the rack in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours.This will help the ham hocks absorb more smoke flavor once you put them in the smoker.
- You may want to lay a towel or baking sheet underneath the rack in the refrigerator to keep the ham hocks from dripping any residual brine or juice.
5. Heat up your smoker to 200 °F (93 °C). If you are using an electric smoker, turn on the smoker and set the temperature to 200 °F (93 °C). If you’re using a charcoal smoker, light the smoker and let it heat up until the temperature reaches 200 °F (93 °C).
- If you don’t have a smoker, you can turn your oven into a temporary smoker by placing water-moistened wood chips in a roasting pan on the bottom shelf. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil so that a bit of smoke can escape out the sides and preheat the oven to 200 °F (93 °C).
6.Put the ham hocks in the smoker. Remove the ham hocks from the rack in the refrigerator and place them directly on the grates in the smoker. Make sure that the ham hocks are spread out enough so that none are touching each other. Close the lid to let the ham hocks begin to cook.
- If you’re using your oven as a makeshift smoker, place the ham hocks directly on the oven rack right above the rack holding the roasting pan with wood chips.
7. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 150 °F (66 °C). Leave the ham hocks on the smoker for about 2 to 6 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ham hocks every hour or so until the thermometer reads 150 °F (66 °C).Once they’ve reached 150 °F (66 °C), remove the ham hocks from the smoker.
- The amount of time it will take to fully cook the ham hocks varies greatly depending on the type of smoker that you have. As a result, it’s important that you use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature every so often so that the ham hocks don’t overcook and dry out.