I found two rather generous sized pork hocks on special and I purchased them without too much thought. After a week in the freezer I realised that something needed to be done with them. I went to the internet for research purposes and found it rather lacking in great ideas for pock hocks. I did though have 'pulled pork' on the brain after my husband enjoyed a delicious smoked pulled pork sandwich at the City Market.
|Pork and pearl barley casserole|
I put both hocks into the slow cooker with chicken stock, carrots, onions and garlic. I seasoned with salt and pepper and also added a teaspoon each of smoked paprika and cumin seed. At times like this I love slow cookers - I put it on high and just left it to bubble away.
A few hours later I removed one hock and a ladle full of stock. I poured a cup and a half of pearl barley into the slow cooker with the remaining hock and left it cooking on high for another two hours. This turned into a lovely dinner for myself and my husband, as well two meals of leftovers.
I shredded the other pork hock, removing most of the skin, and mixed through the stock. I then added a quarter cup of 'Maharaja Sauce' - a delicious chutney available at Moore Wilsons. This meat went back in the fridge for dinner the next night (and to give time for the meat to suck up the flavours). Adding the stock helps to keep the shredded meat from going dry - the chutney (BBQ sauce is more traditional for pulled pork) gives a delicious spicy fruit flavour to the meat.
Last night we used the pulled pork in home made fresh buns with lettuce from the garden, cucumber and a generous tablespoon of vegetable pickle. It was very, very good.
I was really pleased with these meals. I paid about $5 for the two hocks, usual price around $12. So we ate cheaply and deliciously for a couple of nights this week and I'm looking forward to more pulled pork sandwiches over summer. I'd forgotten how much I like pearl barley as well. It doesn't need pre-soaking and cooks pretty quickly for a dried grain.
Apart from using hocks to make stock, I'd love to hear from other people what they do with pork hocks.