Winter Warmers – Pork Hock and Bean Soup

Eumundi Smokehouse Pork Hock and Bean Soup
soup bowl is handmade artwork courtesy of studioDome
128 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW

It’s freezing isn’t it? 5 degree mornings? Am I living in Sydney for this kind of weather? Well, yes, I am. It’s a freezing cold like this that makes me yearn for something that warms both my heart and tummy, and gets me cooking delicious dishes like these. Last Saturday was glorious and I just had to go the Good Living Growers Markets in Pyrmont, which is on every first Saturday of the month. Anyone who goes to any of the Sydney and suburbs markets knows Eumundi Smokehouse, and even though the shop itself is only 5 minutes away from me, I prefer buying their goods from the markets. It’s more fun that way. The shop is in Dulwich Hill and opens only on Saturday, if you are interested, and I do suggest you visit. It’s great.

Anyway, I have a thing for hanging cured pork at home, and the nice meaty hock I bought fit the bill in terms of looks. I wish I took a photo before I devoured it.

So, the hock is the part that connects the pig’s foot to its leg. It’s got bones, tendons, a bit of meat and fatty skin. Smoked, it looks phenomenal, smells great, and is one of those ingredients that you can add to any type of pulse, cook for 2 hours and have yourself a merry little Christmas. To make this dish, fry up 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic till nice and golden, add your soaked pulses (in this case 4 cups of black-eyed beans and 2 cups of chickpeas, both soaked overnight) and the ham hock. Add cold water until fully covered, bring to a boil and simmer for around 2 hours or until the hock meat falls off the bone. Half an hour before, add some chunky pieces of carrot. Taste the soup and add salt (you add it at the end because the hock could be salty). Remove the hock, cool it down until you can handle it, and get all the meat out and just flake it. There is usually enough meat in there to feed 4 people or so. Put some soup in a bowl, top with the meat, some finely chopped parsley (you need this for flavour) and drizzle with olive oil to give the meat a healthy shine. Enjoy thoroughly with some nice crusty sourdough.


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