Pork hock is a good choice as an alternative to roasting a large joint, perfect for one or two people. I did two hocks of course as I am feeding three hungry people plus I love leftovers. Today I am making bone broth as well and the bones from hock are perfect to add to my other bones. They are very rich in gelatine and all the connective tissue that make bone broth so very good for you. Today I am going to pair the pork hock with a raw coleslaw of cabbage and apples plus smashed buttered swede. Swede is a much maligned vegetable but if drenched in butter and pepper it is sublime. To make the complete rainbow I also have some wonderful broccolini just picked from the garden.Ingredients.
1 or 2 pork hocks, try and get big meaty ones.
50gms of butter for the swede.
1/2 or less of a small red cabbage, my cabbage was meagre so I am using 1/2 but if yours is hearty then you may only need 1/4.
small bunch of parsley.
1 small red onion.
1 lemon juiced.
2 tablespoons of pine nuts. Optional.
1 heaped teaspoon of mustard.
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil.
1 egg yolk.
some green vegetable, I am using broccolini.
salt and pepper.
Get the hocks out of the fridge to come to room temperature about an hour before you will be cooking them, also you want to open them up from any packaging so the skin gets a chance to dry out. Wipe it with paper towel if it is wet, the other option that I often do with pork is to remove it from any packaging the night before and leave it open in the refrigerator over night, this will dry the skin nicely. If not already done score the skin right through all over as much as you can, it’s a bit tricky but worth the effort to get really crispy crackling. Use a sharp knife or craft knife but take care as the skin is tough. Rub plenty of salt into all the cracks. Turn the oven onto 220c fan, try and stand the hocks upright if you can so all the skin can get crackly. Blast in the hot oven for about 30 minutes, then add 2 cms of water to bottom of the roasting pan and cover everything with foil, turn the oven down to 160c and return to the oven for 2 and half hours. The water will help keep the meat moist and as these are small joints it is a bit easy for them to dry out too much.
After the 2.5 hours remove the foil and turn the oven back up to 220c and blast again to crisp up the skin, it will need about 30 more minutes but keep an eye on it.
While the pork is roasting prepare the vegetables. The coleslaw can be prepared well in advance. I have cut all the stalks from my broccolini which will be steamed at the last moment for five minutes and kept very plain, I am using the stem of the broccolini in the coleslaw, it just needs to be peeled a bit to remove any tough skin, but is lovely and sweet and perfect to add to the coleslaw. The swede just needs to be peeled and chopped, this will take about 15 minutes to cook in plenty of boiling water.
For the coleslaw finely slice the onion, I use a mandolin to get it fine and even. This then needs to be doused in the lemon juice, the acid juice takes away the heat from the raw onion and pickles it a bit to make it sweeter and milder. Finely slice the red cabbage and apple then chop the parsley.Add the apple, cabbage, parsley and broccoli stem if you are using it and mix with the lemony onions.
Make the quick mayonnaise by adding the egg yolk, the apple cider vinegar and mustard to a small blender, whizz a bit then add the olive oil a bit at a time in 3 or 4 additions until it’s all incorporated and the dressing is a cream consistency. Add this to the vegetables in the bowl. Lastly just before serving dry toast the pine nuts if you are using them in a small frying pan and add to the coleslaw.
When the hocks go in the oven for their final 30 minutes blast you can cook the swede, boil until tender, about 15 minutes, then add the butter and pepper, if you can bring yourself to add as much as the 50gms the recipe specifies you will be rewarded with a buttery deliciousness that goes very well with the pork. Lastly cook your greens. The coleslaw and the greens give the freshness to balance the oiliness of the pork and swede.After you have scoffed the succulent meat and the crispy crackling the bones can be frozen to make very good bone broth. Or if, like me you happen to be making bone broth on the same day just pop them in the stock pan with all your other bones to simmer for 24 hours.