Irish Ham Hocks …. with a twist

I cooked this dish about 2 months ago, but the photographs just did not come out well. Yesterday, we were all stocked up on ham, and we have bright evenings, so I thought it would be the perfect time to cook it up again and take some good photographs.

Things didn’t quite go to plan, as we had some unexpected guests for dinner and dinner was served much later than I had originally planned.  The wait was worth it though.

I have adapted the recipe from The Incredible Spice Men’s book (a book well worth getting your hands on!).

Irish Ham Hocks

Irish Ham Hocks …. with a spicy twist.


  • 2 Ham Hocks – weighing 1.2 kg
  • 3 small apples, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon
  • 3 green chillies – halved and deseeded.
  • 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1.5 litres Homemade Apple Beer

For the glaze:

  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp. cooking liquid


Place the ham hocks into a large saucepan with all the other ingredients…. adding in the liquid last.  If the liquid does not cover the meat completely add some water to just cover.

Bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat your oven to 220 deg. C/425 deg. F/ Gas 7.

Take the hocks from the saucepan and remove the skin.  Place the hocks on a baking dish – spoon over about four tablespoons on the cooking liquid, and sprinkle over the sugar and chilli flakes.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Bring the cooking stock back to the boil and boil rapidly to reduce (about 10 minutes).  When the stock has reduced – you could strain it – but I removed the two cinnamon sticks and then just blitzed it.

Irish Ham Hocks

Irish Ham Hocks

We served it with mashed potatoes, sweet potato and broccoli.  Our impromptu dinner guests, one of whom is Mexican, loved it 🙂

Serves:  4 adults

Cost:      c. €4.50 per serving – using our free-range ham, homemade apple beer and including vegetables.


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