There are a number of ways to cook smoked ham hocks, namely by roasting, grilling on the barbecue, deep-frying, and braising or boiling. All methods have different results but braising to begin with is advised as it makes the meat tender and trimming the fat easier.
Hocks are essentially the ankle or calf of the shank. In German cuisine, they are often referred to as the knuckle. Smoked ham hocks are cooked similarly to how you would cook most other cuts of meat, says Columnist Chichi Wang. This includes roasting, barbecuing and deep-frying.
However, the braising method requires following rather specific instructions, says LiveStrong.com. Braising the hock first is good because it leaves you with a broth which can be used to flavour other dishes like soups and stews, says Chichi Wang.
To braise, firstly place the hocks in a stockpot with eight cups of cool water; bring to boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for two hours. When finished the meat should fall off the bone. Remove meat and trim the fat or gristle. You can use this in soup or serve with black-eyed peas. Finally, strain fat from stock and boil, then reduce stock to desired concentration.