The hock of a pig refers to the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg. In simpler terms, it’s the ankle region of the pig. The hock doesn’t contain much meat, but it’s rich in tendons, ligaments, and bone.
As a result, it’s great for braising or slow-cooking to make flavorful broths or soups, as the slow cooking process breaks down the connective tissues and releases collagen, giving dishes a rich and velvety texture.
When buying or ordering a hock from your local butcher, request a hind hock as they are bigger and meatier, and be sure to clarify that you want it to be fresh. Hocks are often sold cured and smoked to be used for dishes like pea and ham soup. If they can give you the trotter too, even better. Add it to the pot and you will end up with a broth that sets harder than jelly!