A ham hock is the shank portion of a pig’s leg, located beneath the thigh and above the ankle. The hock is taken from the pig's rear and front legs.
The shank portion of a pig's leg contains a lot of muscle and tendons. It can be tough unless it is cooked very slowly. The hock is commonly cured or smoked, and it is used to flavor beans and collard greens. Braising and stewing are the preferred methods of cooking raw ham hock. With these methods, the ham hock is cooked over low heat for long periods of time, which helps soften the meat and enhance its flavor.