Braised pork hock is a Chinese delicacy. It’s the customary dish for ringing in the Lunar New Year celebrated in East and South East Asian countries.
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Pork hocks are tender and delicious with meat that is less fatty than pork belly. It contains collagen, which plays an important role in healthy skin and bones. Is it possible that dining on this delectable meal could make you look younger?
What Are Pork Hocks?
Pork hock is made up of mostly connective tissue, ligaments, tendons, and lean muscle fibers. It means the meat is quite tough. The trick is to cook it low and slow for 2-4 hours. Whether you roast, braise, or boil, when pork hocks are cooked properly, the meat is very tender.
How to Prepare Pork Hocks?
Due to their location near the pig’s foot, pork hocks must be cleaned to avoid contamination. Boil the meat for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water before using a stiff brush to scrub away any dirt or debris. Then rinse thoroughly before preparing the meat.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- pork hock
- vegetable oil
- dark soy sauce
- star anise
- cinnamon stick
- cooking wine
- chicken broth
- brown or granulated sugar
- green onions
(Note: Full recipe is at the bottom of the post)
How to Make Braised Pork Hocks
After carefully cleaning the pork hocks, bring them to a boil in a pot of water, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for a minimum of 2 hours.
As the meat cooks, you can add salt and seasonings. Pierce with a fork to determine if it’s tender enough to serve.
Tips and Tricks
- It’s important to clean pork hocks thoroughly before cooking.
- Boil the meat for 5-8 minutes before cooking, then drain and rinse in cold water. Meticulously scrub away any dirt, blood, or other debris before cooking. It’s not only hygienic but will make the pork hocks taste better.
How Long to Boil Pork Hocks
Pork hocks need to boil a minimum of 2 hours to be tender.
How to Serve Braised Pork Hock
There are no rules here. Steamed rice and vegetables are popular side dishes for serving with pork hocks, but you can get creative.
Braised pork hock is associated with Chinese cuisine but other countries have made it their own.
- In Korea, pork hocks are braised with soybean paste, cooking wine, and other regional flavors.
- Schweinshaxe is the German version that braises pork hocks in beer.
Are Pork Shanks And Pork Hocks The Same?
No, pork shanks are the cut above the pork hocks on the pig’s front forearm. They’re much meatier but still have a lot of bones and fat. Pork hocks are the same as pork knuckles.
Braised Pork Hock Recipe
- 3 pounds pork hock
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 8 cloves of garlic smashed
- 4 slices of ginger peeled
- 1 cup of dark soy sauce
- 4 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup cooking wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup brown or granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 3 green onions chopped
- Clean the pork hocks before immersing in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Scrub to remove any debris.
- Place the pork hocks in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered 2-3 hours, until very tender. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Sauté oil, garlic, and ginger in a wok or large skillet over medium heat for 30-60 seconds.
- Add soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, broth, and brown sugar to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the cornstarch-water mixture continuously for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.
- Coat the pork hocks in the sauce. Garnish with the green onion and serve.