Pork hocks might look kind of gristly and bone-y and uninviting, but they have a secret superpower: they can make any kind of soup delicious. And nothing against fresh hocks, but roasting them really deepens the flavor even more and adds some extra spice to the mix.
If you’re wondering what the heck a “hock” is, it’s the part of the pig where the foot was attached to the leg. It’s not technically part of the ham, but it’s also not quite the foot yet; it’s the very end of the leg bone. All the sinew and bones and tendons are the best for adding flavor and gut-healing proteins to a broth, since that’s where the good stuff is.
For this recipe, you’ll want to get raw hocks (not pre-smoked, since there’s no point in roasting them if they’ve already been smoked). If you have very meaty hocks, you could just roast them, eat the meat (or use it in an omelet or another dish), and then throw just the bones into a soup. If there’s just not much meat on those bones, throw the whole roasted hock into the soup pot.
These (or even just the meat from them) would be really great in roasted cauliflower soup, winter vegetable soup, or ham and pumpkin soup (if you’re doing the first two, you might want to just make the broth for the recipe with the ham hocks, to get the maximum flavor out of them). Or pick your own favorite soup recipe and go to town!
Oven Roasted Pork Hocks Recipe
- 4 pork hocks;
- 2 onions, diced;
- 6 garlic cloves;
- 3 bay leaves;
- ½ tbsp. juniper berries;
- 2 cinnamon sticks;
- ¼ cup olive oil;
- 1 cup beef stock;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- Preheat your oven to 450 F.
- Season each pork hock to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Spread the onion and garlic all over the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Place the pork hocks on top of the onion-garlic mixture, drizzle some olive oil over them, and pour on the beef stock.
- Place in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes, or until skin is a bit crispy.
- Remove from oven and lower heat to 350 F.
- Season with all the remaining ingredients, and cover.
- Place back in the oven, and roast for 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is easily removed from the bone.