Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours
Easy - for beginners
Long-braised smoked ham hocks with collards and spicy turnip greens. Kale can be substituted for the collards. Mustard or dandelion greens can replace the turnip greens. Perfect with mac n' cheese, beans, ribs, BBQ brisket, etc.
Rinse ham hock pieces to remove any bone fragments. Simmer hocks in broth (or water and bouillon cube) covered for two hours or until rind is tender. Skim off any foam after 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, clean the greens and turnips. Peel turnips and slice into 1/4" rounds. Tear out the stalks and midribs from the greens. Rough chop the greens. (Some cooks chop them after cooking, but this adds mess and delay.)
When hocks are tender, remove them to a cutting board. Add the turnips and greens to the pot, cover, and simmer. While simmering, remove the meat, fat, and rind from the bone. Discard the bones, dice the rest, and return it to the pot. Serve when the greens are tender, about 30 minutes. (There is no need or benefit to cooking them for hours as some cooks did in the past.)
© 2011 Scott Mossman