Honey and clove glazed ham hocks
Photo by Tyson Sutton
Well, it’s cold outside... my garden is starting to look like a swamp and when my daughter wakes me up in the morning I know I have to wait at least three hours before I see sunlight. This can mean only one thing: Christmas is just around the corner, right? Wrong!
This happens every year in winter and I’m starting to wonder whether the feeling will ever disappear. I’m originally from England and so, despite having lived here for four years, my body clock in New Zealand is still topsy turvy. I’ve never really bought into this mid-winter Christmas thing you do over here, but I am realising that back home Christmas gives us something to look forward to in winter and I’m starting to crave warm mulled wine, the smell of smoky glazed hams coming out of my kitchen, and wondering where my presents are!
With that thought embedded there’s only one thing to do — don the apron and get cracking. I’m saving the whole ham for Christmas proper, bacon hocks are the main feature for this mid-winter feast, matched with an orange chutney and bread sauce. This will be accompanied by all the traditional trimmings at the table — pigs in blanket, brussels sprouts, honey roast parsnips, gravy, Christmas crackers, paper hats and very bad jokes.
|4||Bacon hock, manuka smoked|
|2||Carrots, peeled and trimmed|
|1||Bouquet garni, (parsley stalks, bay leaves, thyme sprigs)|
|300 g||Soft brown sugar|
|50 g||English mustard|
|3||Shallots, finely diced|
|3 cloves||Garlic, crushed|
|1 tsp||Fresh ginger, crushed|
|150 g||Brown sugar|
|150 ml||White wine vinegar|
|150 ml||White wine|
|1 pinch||Sea salt|
Honey and clove glazed ham hocks
- Add the hocks, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, leek and bouquet garni to a large stock pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 3 hours or until falling off the bone. Cool down at room temperature. Remove the hocks when you’re able to handle them and gently remove the skin, keeping the fat in place. Strain the stock and keep in the fridge to use in soups, casseroles, etc.
- Place hocks in the fridge until firm.
- Heat oven to 200degC. Remove the hocks from the fridge and score the fat in a crisscross pattern. Mix glaze ingredients (except cloves) together and rub all over. Stud with cloves and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with orange, cinnamon and shallot chutney and bread sauce.
Orange, cinnamon and shallot chutney
- Gently fry shallot, garlic and ginger until soft (do not let it brown). Zest one of the oranges and segment all of them. Add the zest, the segments and any remaining juice from the oranges to the pan. Reduce on a moderate heat until the liquid evaporates, then add cinnamon, brown sugar, salt, vinegar, white wine and cook on a low heat until a chutney consistency is achieved (should take 5 minutes).
- Remove cinnamon at this point. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until needed. For a point of difference, if you are making a gravy you can blend the chutney into the gravy with a handheld stick blender until smooth.
In a saucepan, reduce the cream to just under half its original amount then transfer to a food processor with the parmesan and brioche. Blend until smooth then add back to the pan. Bring to a simmer, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg and keep moving in the pan until thickened to your desired consistency.