Smoked pork hocks are amazing during winter, they make the most warming and comforting pea and ham soup. Thick crusty homemade bread slathered in rich butter certainly doesn’t hurt either. In summer though that’s not great. As awesome and delicious as pea and ham soup is no one actually wants to eat it when it’s 35C outside in Adelaide. As a result we were bringing home all our smoked hocks and I had to find something to do with them rather than stockpiling them in our freezer.
I found a couple of recipes for smoked hock terrine. It seems fairly straightforward. Simmer your pork hock for a while and then pack it into a mold until it’s set. Simple, right? Yes, yes it is.
I put aside two fairly big hocks aside for this experiment. In hindsight, I should have used 4 or 6 (even numbers because we’re OCD like that). Two hocks don’t make a lot and doesn’t make things better when I forget to add in a couple of ingredients when I was layering the terrine.
You do need to simmer the hocks for 3-4 hours depending on the size of your hocks just so that the hocks pull apart. If you don’t want to overheat your house unnecessarily during summer do this outside, also the smell of simmering smoked hocks isn’t great. After it was all done I put aside the carrot and celery that was in the stock pot so that I could layer them in the terrine. Good plan, failed to execute. I completely forgot to put them in. It definitely adds to the visual and I think it adds to the taste as well.
There’s a lot of recipes that call for pulling everything out of the cooking fluid and then strain the fluid and then keeping a cup of it to mix with gelatine and then pouring that into the terrine to make it set. I didn’t bother with the gelatine. Mostly cause that sounds way to fiddly. I like food but I do not like fiddly. What I did was strain the stock instead and let the stock boil down to about a cup.
Pack your lined terrine mold tight with your mix and vegetables (if you remember them) and spoon some of the boiled down stock over the mix. What that stock should do is gel up as the mix cools and keeps everything together, making it all easier to cut. You don’t need much, just enough to fill the gaps.
We have giant terrine presses. If you have a small one that’s gold. I don’t have a small one and my mix wouldn’t have even covered the bottom of our giant presses. I grabbed our smallest loaf tin instead and lined it and filled it with my mix. Lining it is really important, you’re not going to lift out the mix otherwise. Since I didn’t use a press I had to weigh my terrine down. I just filled a takeaway container with water and placed that on top of my wrapped up terrine. It didn’t press down on the whole lot but I’ll take what I can get.
The whole lot sat in the fridge overnight and by the next I couldn’t stay the wait anymore and while Neil was out feeding pigs I was feeding myself the smoked pork hock terrine. It’s smoky and porky and I may have been a little heavy handed with the parsley but even that couldn’t deter from the fact that my terrine is better than Neil’s 😛
It’s so easy to personalise this to your own taste. Keep tasting it as you make your mix add whatever you think will work. Different spices and herbs are you friends.
Smoked Pork Hock Terrine
- 4-6 Smoked pork hocks
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- Handful of chopped parsley (coarseness is personal preference)
- A couple of bay leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons of your choice of mustard (seeded, English, mild)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cover hocks, carrot, celery, and onion with water in a pot and bring to the boil.
- Turn heat done to a gentle simmer and add pepper, mustard seeds, and bay leaves.
- Simmer for 3-4 hours until meat is soft and pulls apart easily.
- Pull the hocks, carrot, and celery out of the pot and set aside.
- Strain the cooking fluid into a second pot and boil the cooking fluid down to about a cup and set it aside.
- Flake the meat into a bowl with parsley and mustard and mix together. Season to personal taste.
- Slice the cooled carrot and celery into batons.
- Line a terrine mold or loaf tin with plastic wrap.
- Layer the hock mixture and carrot and celery batons into the mold, pressing down firmly.
- Fold the plastic wrap over the mixture and place a weight on top.
- Place in the fridge overnight.
- Unwrap and slice when you’re ready to try it out!
- It should keep for up to a week.