After tasting the duck with cabbage and the version of roasted pork with sauerkraut, I want to show you another option - this time it's cabbage with ham hocks. It can be raw or smoked, as you like. I've done it a few times so far and it's one of my children's favorite recipes. I'm beginning to like more and more such dishes with cabbage cooked in the oven. It literally melts in the mouth and all the flavors blend together perfectly.
I'd heard of cabbage stew with ham hocks and I tasted something like that in a restaurant, but I wasn't impressed. Instead, I can assure you the option below is going to be a success. You can adjust the recipe according to your preferences - with simple or smoked ham, raw cabbage or sauerkraut - it's good any way!
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Wash the ham hock very well and place in a large pot to boil.
I boil it simply, with no spices, but you can add some bay leaf, peppercorns etc.
The cooking time may vary. I leave the store-bought ham hock over low heat for about 2 hours, to make sure it's properly cooked.
After this time, remove from the water. Notice that the meat comes off the bone easily, this is the main indicator to tell you it's done.
Now let cool a bit.
Then remove the bone and cut the meat into larger pieces.
Sprinkle with salt, ground black pepper and other favorite spices, stir carefully to distribute evenly.
Chop the cabbage as you like - I prefer it a little bigger, not so fine.
Place in a large, deep oven pan - in the corner, you can see some leftover sauerkraut from this year.
Add diced onions to the cabbage, pour the oil, tomato paste dissolved in 1-2 tablespoons of water in which the hock boiled.
Add an extra 1-2 ladles of this broth.
Now season with salt, ground black pepper, paprika and other spices/greens, to taste.
Stir the mixture well with your hands, right there, in the pan.
Add the chopped meat to the pan.
Mix carefully to spread it evenly among the cabbage in the pan.
Cover with a lid or foil/baking bag.
Place the pan in the preheated oven at 200 C for 1 hour.
After this time, remove the foil, notice that the cabbage is cooked through.
Stir carefully in the pan with a spoon.
And bake for another 20-25 minutes at the same temperature, without the lid/foil - the meat will brown, the cabbage will cook some more - you'll see it gets more and more appetizing.
I love that the cabbage isn't porridge-like, it's soft, aromatic, tender yet whole every bit of it. And combined with ham hock...
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