Ham Stock Recipe

Ham Stock
Submitted By: Taz

    Though this recipe is for 'Ham Stock' the technique is the same for making any type of stock. To make a chicken or turkey stock, use apx 4 lbs of chicken or turkey parts in place of the pork. For vegetable stock, double the vegetable quantities (I highly recommend the addition of the leeks) and substitute ½-1 lb mushrooms instead of meat (Portabello or Crimini mushrooms work particularly well) - Chop the vegetables into small pieces, throw everything into the pot, and sauté with 2 Tbs olive oil over high heat for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables begin to brown before adding water for deeper flavor

Ingredients:

3 Smoked Ham Hocks** -OR- 1 Large leftover Meaty Ham bone - total weight apx 2-3 lbs
2 Quarts Water
3 Large, Whole Celery Ribs with leaves - rinsed and broken into large pieces
2 Large Carrots - rinsed and broken into large pieces
1 Large Onion (Unpeeled) - quartered
4-6 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
1-2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Whole Black Peppercorns
-OPTIONAL- (can add any or all to personal taste)
1 Large Whole Leek (both green and white parts) - cut in half and then cut in half lengthwise
4 Large cloves Fresh Garlic - crushed
4-6 Whole Cloves
6 Whole Juniper Berries - lightly crushed
4-6 Whole Allspice Berries
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

Preparation:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot (make sure that ham hocks/ham bone are completely submerged by at least 2 inches - add water if necessary)
  2. Cover - Bring to a boil
  3. Reduce to a slow simmer and allow to cook (covered) for a minimum 1 hour*** (add water as necessary to keep ham hocks completely submerged)
  4. After stock has simmered for desired time, adjust salt (smoked or cured ham hocks are typically pretty salty and should not require any additional salt however, fresh ham hocks or a ham bone MAY require the addition of salt to the stock) - Remove from heat and strain using a fine meshed sieve (some add a double layer of cheese cloth as well - your choice) - Discard all solids
  5. Allow stock to cool and skim off fat
  6. Can store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for future use
**If you wish for a stock that is less 'smoky' you can replace 1, 2, or all of the smoked ham hocks with un-smoked, fresh or 'cured' ham hocks

***You can simmer this stock almost indefinitely - the longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will become; I suggest 4-6 hours for a more flavorful stock

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