What is ham hock and is there a substitute?

Ham Hocks and White Beansenlarge
Use dried beans instead of canned and save big. A 15- or 16-ounce can of beans (about 1 3/4 cup) usually costs around a dollar, while a pound of dried beans (about 5 1/2-6 1/2 cups) will run you almost the same–$1.07. That's roughly five times more beans for your money! Soak beans overnight before using, then add them to hearty recipes like this one. This dish takes a little while to prepare (lots of soaking or chilling), but the results are well worth it.Recipe: Ham Hocks and White Beans

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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Ham hock is the lower hind leg of a hog, and you'll usually find it cured, smoked, or both. Most commonly, it's used to add smoky, salty flavor to soups and stews. In place of 1 smoked ham hock, substitute 4 ounces of any of the following: chopped salted pork (2-4 ounces of this one), chopped smoked bacon, chopped smoked ham, cured smoked hog jowl or guanciale, smoked bacon, smoked sausage, smoked turkey drumsticks, or one ham bone.

Recipe: Ham Hocks and White Beans

 

Marge Perry
Feb, 2011
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