The ham hock is the lower segment of the pig's leg, equivalent to the ankle and calf region. Although it is not a particularly fatty portion of the pig, it contains a lot of collagen that breaks down during cooking and makes the meat tender.
This cut is usually purchased with the skin on the meat. One of the most recommended methods of preparing a ham hock is to braze the hock first, and then deep fry it to obtain a crispy skin. Alternatively, the ham hock can be grilled or broiled. It is a popular cut of meat in German cuisine.