So, I'm on a moderately tight budget, and I love to challenge myself with things I haven't tried before.
My local Walmart (I know, I know, Walmart... bear with me) recently opened up a full grocery section, meat included, and I went to poke around their display to see what kind of interesting stuff they might have. Well, the pork hocks just jumped off the shelf. The ugliest, cheapest cut of meat on the whole stand. I just had to see what I could do with it.
Not THE most economical thing, I know -- whole shoulders were on sale at another store for $0.79/lb a couple weeks ago -- but I only cook for myself and what the hell would I do with ten pounds of pork?
These are fresh hocks, by the way -- that's what caught my interest. Recipes for smoked hocks are everywhere -- hard to find a pot of red beans n' rice without them -- but fresh hocks? Not so much.
What I settled on was like an osso buco style braise, borrowing from Marcella Hazan's osso buco recipe, but a couple of twists. Osso buco for those who can't afford $22/lb veal. "Oinko buco" if you will.
The cute lil' hocks got a good browning, as did some mirepoix, then white wine, homemade stock, tomatoes, herbs and into the oven. Been in a couple hours and going to give them at least one hour more, then cool overnight, skim and eat tomorrow!
Will this work? Am I crazy? Should I have boiled the hocks first? What else could I do with these things in the future? They're so neat.
Smells great in here, by the way.