Serving
(click to enlarge)

Pickled Pork Hocks
Worldwide   (except Israel and Muslim regions)

Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
2-1/2 #  
**
2+ days  
Must

Back in my early working days, any self respecting bar had a big jar of pickled eggs and another of pickled pork hocks. Hocks are quite different from Pig Feet so the pickling procedure is also substantially different.




3
ar
-----
5
1/2
2-1/2
-----
a/r
6
-----
6
2
1/2
5
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
-----
#

---
T
t
qt
---

oz
---


t

T
t
in
T
---
Pork Hocks (1)
Water
-- Cure
Salt
Saltpeter (2)
Water
---------
Vinegar (3)
Onion
-- Spices
Chilis dry (4)
Bay Leaf
Peppercorns
Cloves
Coriander seed
Mustard seed
Ginger sliced
Salt
---------

  1. Prepare jars sufficient to hold the feet. They should be as sterile as possible (a thorough cleaning with a strong disinfecting cleanser like Comet or an even stronger "institutional" version seems to do fine).
  2. Wash HOCKS well to remove all bone particles. Put them in a pot with plenty of water to cover and bring to a boil for one minute. Pour out into the sink and rinse. Wash the pot.
  3. Mix the Cure in a large pot, then add the Hocks Bring the pot to just short of a boil (210°F/99°C). Hold it there for a couple minutes so the hocks are warmed through.
  4. Set aside, tightly covered, for 12 hours or a bit more.
  5. Bring up to 180°F/82°C and hold between 180°F and 190°F until hocks are cooked to the right state. At this low temperature that will take around 1 to 1-1/4 hour, depending on thickness. They should still seem a little undercooked with he skins a bit chewy.
  6. Drain the hocks, discarding the cooking liquid.
  7. Clean the pot and return the Hocks. Pack them down, then pour in enough Vinegar to just about cover. Remove the Hocks again and set aside.
  8. Cut ONION into lengthwise wedges and stir into the Vinegar, then stir in all Spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  9. Strain the pickle liquid and return to a boil. Put the Hocks back in and bring up to 180 °F/82°C, then turn off the heat. CAUTION: if the liquid exceeds about 190°F the hocks will fall apart completely.
  10. With tongs, transfer the Hocks into the sterile jars. Pour the pickle vinegar over to cover. If you have extra pickling vinegar save it in a separate jar for topping off as you remove hocks feet from the jar.
  11. Cover jars tightly and let sit in a cool place for 3 days or more before you start eating them.
  12. When serving, rinse the pieces in warm water to reduce the acidity.
NOTES:
  1. Pork Hocks:   Buy your hocks bandsawed into slices, preferably about 3/4 inch thick. Those used for the photo batch were from an Asian market and cut a bit thinner than that, but they were the best hocks available at the time.
  2. Saltpeter:   This may be Potassium or Sodium Nitrate - I use Potassium Nitrate. The action of this chemical greatly improves the color and texture, as well as suppressing bacterial growth. For details and pros and cons see our Curing Salts page.
  3. Vinegar:   Buy lots of vinegar. Get it at a Restaurant Supply where it's under $1.50/gallon, not at the supermarket where it's 5 times that or more. Generally, Distilled White Vinegar, or you can use the fake Cider Vinegar (white vinegar and apple juice) sold in gallon jugs (real Cider Vinegar comes only in quarts or smaller).
  4. Chilis:   6 Japones will not make the feet very hot. 6 dried Thai chilis are a different matter though. De Arbols are in between. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Method:   The Salt and Potassium Nitrate cure has significant advantages over pickling without it. The meat retains a better color, and the gelatin doesn't migrate into the pickle liquid so much. Without the cure the pickle will become gelled solid after a while. No, the saltpeter won't cause your pecker to go flat, that's an old boarding school myth, but English gin will do that. Potassium Nitrate is easy to order on the Internet. In my childhood we could get it cheaply from the local drug store, but I'm not sure that is still possible - it can be used to make explosives.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
gam_pighkpkl1 121204 var   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@aaxnet.com - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.