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How to Cook Smoked Gammon Hock


A smoked gammon hock is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in various ways, offering an array of delightful textures and tastes. Here are some methods for cooking a smoked gammon hock:

  1. Boiling/Simmering:
    • Place the gammon hock in a large pot and cover it with cold water.
    • Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
    • You can add aromatic vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery, along with herbs such as bay leaves or thyme to enhance the flavour.
    • Allow to simmer for a few hours until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  2. Slow Cooking:
    • This method ensures the meat becomes tender and retains its moisture.
    • Place the hock in a slow cooker, add your preferred liquids (like stock, cider, or water) and seasonings, and cook on a low setting for several hours.
  3. Roasting:
    • First, it's beneficial to simmer the hock as mentioned above.
    • Once pre-cooked, place the hock in a roasting tin and roast in a preheated oven until the exterior becomes golden and slightly crispy. Baste occasionally to keep it moist.
  4. Pressure Cooking:
    • Using a pressure cooker can speed up the cooking process while still ensuring a tender result.
    • Place the gammon hock, liquid (like stock or water), and any desired seasonings in the pressure cooker and cook according to the cooker's instructions.
  5. Braising:
    • This involves both searing and simmering the meat in liquid.
    • Sear the hock first in a hot pan with a bit of oil, then add liquid, bring to a simmer, cover, and let it cook until tender.
  6. Grilling/Barbecuing:
    • Like roasting, it's preferable to pre-cook the hock by simmering.
    • Finish it off on the grill to get a smoky charred exterior. Be sure to turn it regularly to avoid burning.
  7. Pulled Gammon:
    • After any of the above methods where the meat becomes tender (like boiling or slow cooking), you can pull the meat apart using forks. It's then ready to be added to dishes like salads, sandwiches, or pies.

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Old Fashioned Smoked Gammon Hock


A smoked gammon hock, with its rich and smoky flavour, pairs beautifully with a variety of ingredients. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Vegetables:
    • Cabbage: Particularly green or Savoy cabbage, braised or steamed.
    • Leeks: Softened in butter or in a creamy leek sauce.
    • Peas: Either mushy peas, garden peas, or petit pois for a fresh touch.
    • Carrots: Roasted, steamed, or even in a carrot and swede mash.
    • Potatoes: Mashed, roasted with herbs, or as a creamy gratin.
  2. Fruits:
    • Apple: Apple sauce, chutney, or roasted apples.
    • Pineapple: Fresh slices grilled or baked.
    • Pear: Pear chutney or roasted pears can bring out the sweetness to contrast the saltiness of the gammon.
  3. Sauces & Condiments:
    • Mustard: Whole grain, Dijon, or English mustard.
    • Honey: Used in glazes or dressings.
    • Maple Syrup: For a slightly different sweetness in glazes.
    • Parsley Sauce: A classic white sauce infused with fresh parsley.
    • Redcurrant Jelly: Offers a sweet-tart counterbalance.
  4. Grains & Pulses:
    • Lentils: A rich lentil stew or soup can complement the meaty flavour.
    • Barley: In soups or stews.
    • Beans: Especially butter beans or white beans in a rich broth.
  5. Spices & Herbs:
    • Cloves: Often used when roasting gammon.
    • Bay Leaves, Thyme, and Rosemary: Good for roasting or when making a broth.
    • Black Pepper: Freshly cracked for seasoning.
    • Parsley and Coriander: Freshly chopped for garnishing.
  6. Dairy:
    • Cheese: Think cheese sauces or a gratin topping.
    • Cream: For richer sauces or soups.
  7. Beverages:
    • Cider: Used in braising or for making reductions.
    • Ale or Stout: For hearty, slow-cooked stews.
  8. Nuts:
    • Almonds or Walnuts: Toasted and sprinkled on salads featuring gammon.

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  1. Wine:
    • White Wine: A crisp and acidic white wine, like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, or Albariño, can cut through the richness of the meat.
    • Red Wine: Lighter reds such as Pinot Noir or Gamay can complement without overpowering.
    • Rosé: A dry rosé can be refreshing and a good middle ground, especially for gammon dishes with fruity elements.
  2. Beer & Cider:
    • Cider: The apple notes in a good dry cider can complement the pork beautifully. Ciders from the West Country or Normandy are particularly good choices.
    • Ale: A bitter or golden ale can provide a robust accompaniment.
    • Lager: A crisp lager can cleanse the palate, especially if the gammon is served in a rich sauce.
    • Stout or Porter: These can pair especially well if the gammon is prepared with sweet glazes or sauces.
  3. Spirits & Cocktails:
    • Whisky: A smooth whisky with a hint of smokiness can mirror the smoky elements of the gammon.
    • Rum: Especially if the gammon is prepared with tropical elements like pineapple.
    • Apple Brandy or Calvados: Enhances the pork's natural affinity with apple.
    • Cocktails: Consider cocktails with a slightly sweet or sour profile, like a Whisky Sour or Mojito.
  4. Non-Alcoholic:
    • Apple Juice: Especially a tart variety, it can be a great non-alcoholic counterpart to cider.
    • Iced Tea: A black or green iced tea with a slice of lemon can be refreshing.
    • Sparkling Water: With a squeeze of citrus, it can cleanse the palate between bites.
    • Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer: The spicy-sweet ginger profile can contrast nicely with the salty-smoky gammon.