St. Paddy’s Day is tomorrow so in honour of my somewhat Irish side (I may not look Irish but was born a “Kelly”!) I did a bit of a throw back to a recipe I had as a kid.
I remember one of my Dad’s favourite meals was pork hocks and cabbage. To a young kid “pork hocks” sounded pretty unappealing, but as an adult I could go for a giant bowl of that!
This dish also reminds me of the 6 years I spent living on the east coast in Nova Scotia. Boiled dinners was a very common meal made with cottage roll which is a boneless pork shoulder butt that’s been cured in a sweet brine. You add a bunch of veggies such as cabbage, carrots and potatoes, to a pot and simmer the heck out of it for a few hours. You’re left with a flavourful dish that is really simple and inexpensive to prepare.
Now that I am living on the west side, cottage roll is pretty much unheard of. My local grocery store carried salt pork and pork hocks but looked at me funny when I asked about cottage roll. So I grabbed a pork hock and on my way I went.
I have to admit, this is the first time I have cooked pork hocks. I wasn’t even sure exactly what part of the pig this was but, thanks to the internet, I now know it’s the joint that connects the foot to the leg. It’s a strange looking cut of meat because of the sinew, bones and tendons but that is what gives it an amazing flavour. They are generally a cheaper, tougher cut of meat but when it’s slow cooked you’ll be left with melt in your mouth delicious pork.
Besides the time it takes to slow cook the meat, it’s a really easy recipe to throw together. Once the meat is cooked, reserve the broth to cook the cabbage in it, it adds a ton of flavour!
- 1 smoked or fresh pork hock (yields 1 lb cooked meat)
- 4 cups chicken or beef broth + water
- 1 yellow onion, rough chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small head savoy cabbage, chopped
- 1 Tbsp butter or bacon fat
- Add butter or bacon fat to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear all sides of the pork hock.
- Add onion, carrot and garlic to the bottom of a slow cooker. Place pork, fat side up, on top of the veggies.
- Pour broth and add enough water to cover the meat about half way.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook on high for 6 hours.
- Once meat is cooked, remove for the slow-cooker and strain the broth (set veggies aside).
- Add chopped cabbage to a large pot. Pour reserved broth and add enough water so the cabbage is covered.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer the cabbage for about 12 minutes.
- Remove the bones and fat from the pork hock and shred the meat, it should fall apart easily.
- To serve, add carrots, cabbage and meat to a bowl and pour a bit of the broth from the cooked cabbage on top.
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes?? Check these out…
Avocado Mint Bars – Vegan, Keto, Low-Sugar
Peppermint Patties – Keto, Low-Carb, Sugar-Free
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – Vegan, Low-Sugar, Low-Carb
Shamrock Shake Makeover – Vegan, Gluten-Free
Super Fudgy Minty Brownies – Vegan, Gluten-Free
Shamrock Protein Pancakes – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free