ham hock and parmigiano stock
Inspired by Anson Mill’s recipe for “Smoked Ham and Chicken Stock”
Yield: 1 quart
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
(picture by Reese Moore)
The “Holy Trinity” consists of onions, carrots, and celery. “Celery has an overpowering flavor in stocks”, says Nathalie Dupree. Growing up, I always put celery in stocks, mostly because my mom did. I omitted the original celery from Anson Mill’s recipe in order to let the smoked country ham or ham hock shine. When I originally made this in Nathalie’s home kitchen in 2018, the ham was preciously held in a cloth bag and secured with a bow tie. It resembled a treasured present. The smoke in both ham hocks and country ham is barely noticeable, because it is slowly cooked into the shockingly tasty broth. I recommend using this stock in my yellow eye beans recipe.
1 ham hock, about ½ lb, or 1 pound smoked country ham (cut into 2-inch chunks)
1 medium yellow or sweet onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
6 fresh thyme or oregano sprigs
2 quarts chicken stock or water
Combine the ingredients heavy-bottomed 4 or 5-quart stockpot.
Crank up the heat to medium-high and bring ingredients to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue simmer about 3 hours. Keep your tasting spoon close by, so that you can taste the flavors as they develop.
Strain the stock through a chinois into a large heatproof bowl. You should have about 1 quart. (If you have less, add water to equal 1 quart; if you have more, return the stock to the pot and simmer until it is reduced to 1 quart.)
Discard any bones and vegetables. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until the fat congeals on the surface, at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
Before using, discard the congealed fat from the surface of the stock with a spoon.