Slow cookers are a game-changer when it comes to cooking hearty and delicious meals with minimal effort.
One of the best cuts of meat to cook in a slow cooker is the bacon hock. This flavorful and versatile cut of meat can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, and more.
Plus, the slow cooking process ensures that the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
In this article, we’ll show you how to cook bacon hock in a slow cooker, providing you with several easy-to-follow recipes that are sure to impress your family and friends.
So, grab your slow cooker and let’s get started!
How To Cook Bacon Hock In Slow Cooker?
There are several ways to cook bacon hock in a slow cooker, but the basic steps are the same. First, you’ll need to place the bacon hock in the slow cooker and add any other ingredients that the recipe calls for. Then, you’ll need to cook the meat on low heat for several hours until it’s tender and falls off the bone.
Here are some easy-to-follow recipes for cooking bacon hock in a slow cooker:
What Is A Bacon Hock And Why Is It Perfect For Slow Cooking?
A bacon hock is a cut of meat from the lower leg of the pig, which is cured and smoked to give it a distinct flavor. It is also known as a ham hock or pork knuckle. Bacon hocks are perfect for slow cooking because they contain a lot of connective tissue and collagen, which breaks down during the slow cooking process and makes the meat tender and flavorful.
When cooked in a slow cooker, the bacon hock becomes incredibly juicy and succulent, with a rich smoky flavor that is hard to resist. The slow cooking process allows the meat to absorb all the flavors of the other ingredients in the pot, resulting in a delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for cold winter nights.
Bacon hocks are also very versatile, as they can be used in a variety of recipes, from soups and stews to casseroles and pot roasts. They are especially popular in traditional dishes like split pea soup, black bean soup, and collard greens.
Preparing Your Bacon Hock For The Slow Cooker
Before placing your bacon hock in the slow cooker, it’s important to prepare it properly. If you’re using smoked ham hocks, you don’t need to rinse them or do any special prep work. Fresh ham hocks, on the other hand, can be brined for up to a week and smoked before cooking in the slow cooker.
Once you have your bacon hock prepared, place it in the slow cooker with any other ingredients that the recipe calls for. It’s important to make sure that the flat side of the hock is facing down in the slow cooker.
Cook the bacon hock on low heat for at least 8 hours or until it’s tender and falling off the bone. Don’t rush the cooking process by using high heat, as this may not cook the meat all the way through and could result in tough, chewy meat.
After cooking, remove the bacon hock from the slow cooker and allow it to cool down briefly. Drain any excess liquid and discard it, or season it to taste with salt and pepper. Debone and peel off any fatty skin from the bacon hock and portion the meat accordingly.
Serve your slow-cooked bacon hock with a side of coleslaw and sweet potatoes, or along with the liquid and bread on the side. Enjoy this hearty and comforting dish as a treat once or twice a year.
Recipe 1: Slow-cooked Bacon Hock And Vegetable Soup
If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful soup, this slow-cooked bacon hock and vegetable soup is the perfect recipe for you. Here’s how to make it:
– 1 smoked pork hock, large or use 2 small ones
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 tablespoons of butter
– 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
– 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
– 1 cup of green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
– 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
– 2 stalks of celery, sliced
– 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
– 1 bunch of kale, chopped
– Juice of half a lemon
1. Cook the onion in butter in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly softened.
2. Score the bacon hock and place it at the bottom of your slow cooker.
3. Add the cooked onion, potatoes, carrots, green beans, parsnips, celery, broth, garlic, salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon to the slow cooker.
4. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 1/2 to 6 hours or until the potatoes and beans are tender.
5. Uncover and stir in the chopped kale.
6. Cook uncovered for an additional 2 minutes or until the kale is tender.
7. Stir in the lemon juice.
8. Remove the bacon hock from the slow cooker and use a fork to pull all the meat off the bone.
9. Return the pulled apart meat to the slow cooker along with the chopped silverbeet.
10. Leave to continue cooking for an additional 20-30 minutes before serving.
This soup is perfect for a cold winter night or as a comforting meal when you’re feeling under the weather. The bacon hock adds a smoky flavor to the soup while the vegetables make it hearty and filling. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a delicious meal that’s easy to prepare!
Recipe 2: Slow-cooked Bacon Hock And Bean Stew
This slow-cooked bacon hock and bean stew recipe is a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for a cozy night in. To make this stew, you’ll need the following ingredients:
– 1 bacon hock
– 2 cups of dried beans (such as Great Northern beans)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 carrots, chopped
– 4 cups of chicken broth
– 1 tsp of dried thyme
– Salt and pepper to taste
To start, rinse the beans and place them in a bowl. Cover them with water and let them soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker along with the bacon hock, onion, celery, garlic, carrots, chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for 5-6 hours. The bacon hock should be tender and falling off the bone by the end of the cooking time.
Once the stew is done cooking, remove the bacon hock from the slow cooker and let it cool slightly. Remove any skin or fat from the meat and shred it into small pieces. Add the shredded meat back into the stew and stir to combine.
Serve this delicious bacon hock and bean stew with some crusty bread or over a bed of rice for a satisfying meal that will warm you up from the inside out.
Recipe 3: Slow-cooked Bacon Hock And Potato Casserole
If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious meal, this slow-cooked bacon hock and potato casserole is the perfect recipe for you. Here’s how to make it:
– 1 bacon hock
– 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tsp thyme
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 4 cups chicken broth
– 1 cup heavy cream
– Chopped chives and hot sauce for serving
1. Place the bacon hock, potatoes, onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a 7-quart slow cooker.
2. Add chicken broth and stir to combine.
3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high heat for 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Remove the bacon hock from the slow cooker and let it cool for 15 minutes.
5. Puree the soup in the slow cooker with an immersion blender until it’s creamy but still has some chunks of potato visible.
6. Add heavy cream and stir to combine.
7. Once the bacon hock is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat from it and chop it into small pieces. Discard any fat or bone.
8. Add the chopped bacon hock meat back into the soup and stir to combine.
9. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with chopped chives and hot sauce.
This slow-cooked bacon hock and potato casserole is perfect for a cozy night in or as a comforting meal during colder months. The combination of tender bacon hock meat and creamy potato soup will leave you feeling satisfied and warm inside. Plus, cooking it in a slow cooker means that you can set it and forget it until it’s ready to serve!
Tips For Serving And Storing Slow-cooked Bacon Hock
Once you’ve cooked your bacon hock in the slow cooker, it’s important to serve and store it properly to ensure its flavor and texture are preserved. Here are some tips for serving and storing slow-cooked bacon hock:
1. Let it cool down: After cooking, let the bacon hock cool down for a few minutes before deboning and peeling off its fatty skin. This will make it easier to handle and ensure you don’t burn yourself.
2. Season the liquid: The liquid left over from cooking the bacon hock can be used as a flavorful broth for soups or stews. To enhance its taste, season it with salt and pepper to your liking.
3. Portion the meat: Once you’ve deboned the bacon hock and removed its skin, portion the meat according to your needs. You can serve it as a main dish or use it as an ingredient for other recipes.
4. Serve with sides: Slow-cooked bacon hock pairs well with sides like coleslaw, sweet potatoes, or fresh bread. These sides can complement its rich flavor and add some texture to the dish.
5. Store leftovers properly: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating, make sure to do so until piping hot to ensure food safety.
6. Freeze for later: Slow-cooked bacon hock can also be frozen for up to three months. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag and defrost it completely before reheating.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your slow-cooked bacon hock is delicious and enjoyable every time you serve it.