Ham Hock and Greens

by Nov 10, 2016


We are so lucky to live near several producers of piggie goodness; thanks to the Co-Op and Amaltheia (a family-run organic goat dairy that started raising pigs to eat the whey left over from cheesemaking) for this gorgeous ham hock.  I simmered it with a few basics (thanks to a Joy of Cooking recipe), then added three huge bunches of greens:  two collards and one Swiss chard, but any will do.


A slow cooked dish like this gets better with time, so make it in advance and stash it in the fridge.  When you’ve gathered a friend or two, and procured the finest loaf of crusty bread you can get your hands on (thanks Wild Crumb!), reheat on the stove for a hearty lunch or dinner.


Ham Hock and Greens

Yield: serves 4 - 6


  • one meaty ham hock, about 2 pounds
  • 3 carrots, quartered if large, halved if small
  • 2 celery stalks, halved
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme (or use several sprigs of fresh, tie in with the parsley)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced and mashed with the salt, next up
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 bunches of winter greens: collards, chard, kale, or mustard greens, tough stems removed, leaves sliced into 3 - 4 inch strips
  • seasoning just before serving: a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and additional red pepper flakes


  1. Place ham hock in large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Cover with water by an inch or two.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, garlic mixed with salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover leaving a small steam gap, and allow to slowly simmer for an hour, (skimming the surface with a spoon to remove any "goo", technical term).
  3. Add the greens and stir to combine. Simmer for an additional 90 minutes to 2 hours, until meat is falling apart tender.
  4. Remove the parsley bundle and discard. Separate ham from bone and any remaining sinew and discard the bone and sinew. Pour off and reserve the cooking liquid.
  5. Season the greens and ham (and what remains of the carrots and celery) with the apple cider vinegar and pass the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

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