Ham Hock with Red Cabbage
Slow-cooked sweet cabbage is the perfect complement to ham, and with the addition of spices and dried fruit, the humble piece of meat is transformed. Ham hocks are also known as knuckles.
- 2 ham hocks (about 1.35kg each)
- 1 red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
- 2 onions, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- few sprigs of thyme
- 60g raisins
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 150ml white wine vinegar for the slow cooker (300ml for the traditional method)
- 500ml hot vegetable stock
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
For the slow cooker:
Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Put the ham hocks in the pot and cover with water so that the cooker is three-quarters full. Cover with the lid and cook on auto/low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the hams and reserve the cooking liquid, if you wish to use it instead of the vegetable stock (it can be salty). When the hams are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard, then sit the hams back in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients, using either the stock or the cooking liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook on auto/low for 6-8 hours. Remove the hams, shred the meat, and stir it into the slow cooker. Serve with baked or roast potatoes.
For the traditional method:
Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 325°F/ gas 3. Sit the ham hocks in a large heavy-based pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook gently for 1 hour.
Remove the hams and reserve the stock, if you wish to use it instead of the vegetable stock (it can be salty). When the hams are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard, then sit the hams in a large flameproof casserole.
Add all the other ingredients to the casserole, using either the stock or the cooking liquid, and tuck the hams in neatly. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and put in the oven for 2 hours. Check occasionally that it’s not drying out, topping up with a little hot water if necessary. Remove the hams, shred the meat, and stir it into the casserole. Serve with baked or roast potatoes.