One of the recipes in the French-themed Kitchen Nomad box was for beer-doused ham hock. It took me a while to try this one out because I couldn't find ham hock. In the end, I made it using "rouelle de jambon" which is fresh pork/ham. I decided to try it in the slow cooker which worked really well. I tweaked the recipe quite a lot so see below for my alternative version.
Beer-doused ham hock
2 ham hocks, each weighing approx 1.2kg (or a rouelle de jambon)
80g salt, plus extra to season
4 tbsp runny honey
4tbsp Dijon mustard
250g Puy or green lentils
1.5 litres blond beer (or less in a slow cooker)
zest of 1 lemon plus 2tbsp juice
10 black peppercorns
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled & sliced lengthways
1 stick of celery, cut in half (optional)
small bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
This recipe called for four ingredients from the French Kitchen Nomad box - puy lentils, Rowse runny honey, Maille Dijon mustard and sea salt. Now, I had a bit of a problem with this line up because I really don't like Dijon mustard. I don't know why - I like wholegrain mustard and I like spicy food but it's something about the sharpness of mustard and the way it sets your nose on fire that I just don't like ! I therefore decided to substitute the Dijon mustard and runny honey for Maille au Miel honey mustard, which is lovely and sweet and doesn't have the oomph of regular mustard.
The original recipe tells you to put 1.25l of the beer and 750ml of water into a large bowl and stir in 80g salt until completely dissolved, along with the lemon zest and peppercorns. Score the skin of the ham hocks with a sharp knife then put them in the bowl of brine, making sure they are completely submerged, cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or if possible overnight. I bypassed this step and just smothered the meat in a generous coating of Maille au Miel.
I chopped up 3 large carrots and 2 big onions and put them in the slow cooker along with a small can of beer and some leftover chicken stock. I added the lentils and mixed it all up a bit.
Then I placed the meat on top and left it to cook, on low, for 5 hours.
The result is certainly not pretty but it does taste nice ! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender.
I pulled it off the bone and removed the large piece of skin/fat then mixed it all up. I adjusted the seasoning and added a couple of extra spoonfuls of Maille au Miel, as well as a generous shake of American BBQ seasoning.
This is perfect comfort food and would be an ideal winter warmer.
I'm joining in with the World Cup recipe challenge over on the Cooking Around The World blog
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