I cooked this on telly some years ago, and it's been a Christmas favourite ever since. The skin and fat take on a really powerful flavour, and they look stunning.
- 4 brined ham hocks
- 2 carrots, peeled but left whole
- 2 celery sticks
- ½ leek, washed well but left whole
- 2 onions, peeled but left whole
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 garlic head
- salt optional
For the Glaze
- 400 g dark muscovado sugar
- 350 ml dry cider
- 4 tbsp tamarind paste (Bart's)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g runny honey
- 2 tbsp English mustard or English mustard powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- Soak the hocks in cold water overnight.
- Drain the hocks and wash them really well, then place them in a deep pan.
- Fill with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then taste the water. If it tastes salty, tip away from the water and refill, but if it tastes ok add a little salt to the water if it tastes ok.
- Reduce the heat still further until the water is just simmering and cook for 15 minutes.
- Skim off any scum, then add all the veg, peppercorns and herbs. Cook for a further 2 hours 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and leave the hocks to cool, then chill in the fridge in their stock.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
- Lift the chilled hocks out of the jellied stock and rinse off any jelly clinging to the hocks.
- Leaving the large bone in the joint, pull out the second smaller bone, trim off the rind and discard. Lightly score the meat that is left and place it on a non-stick baking tray.
- Mix all the glaze ingredients together really well, then pour over the hocks and place in the hot oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, spooning the glaze over repeatedly until well glazed.
- Serve in deep bowls and pull off the meat in large chunks. I eat this hot or cold with buttery mashed potatoes.
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