Hunan smoked ham hock with hot black bean sauce
- 2 lb smoked ham hocks
- water (as needed)
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1 T black bean sauce
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1 c green bell pepper (cut into 1" squares)
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 t hot red pepper powder (as desired)
- 1/2 c pork stock
- 2 chopped green onions
- cooked noodles (or rice, for serving)
Cook the ham hocks first (this step can be done well ahead):
Place the ham hocks in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat easily separates from the bone with a fork. Remove hocks from water, allow to cool, take meat from the bones and slice into 1" slices.
Then put together the dish:
Heat wok or saute pan over high heat, add vegetable oil and when very hot add black beans and garlic; mash together.
Stir in meat, add green pepper, soy sauce, red pepper powder, and pork stock. Stir continuously until well belnded; add green onion. Serve hot.
SJ Note 13 Mar 2011: Instead of being quite so wasteful with the first step, I made pork stock, removing the meat when it was finished cooking, then adding the bones back and continuing the stock. Worked very well. The finished dish is very tasty, and definitely a keeper! We had it with rice, but next time I think we'll do noodles instead.
SJ Note 11 Apr 2012: I was going to use the end of a smoked Parma ham for this, and started doing so. But the water after 2 hours of simmering was white, so I decided not to keep that as stock. After pulling the last bits of meat off the bone, I tasted the meat and decided it was far too salty to proceed - adding soy sauce to it would've made it far too salty, plus I don't think the flavors would've gone well together at all. So, we pulled some pork chops out of the freezer, cooked them up quickly (on the George Foreman grill), diced them, and threw that in for the meat instead of the smoked ham hocks (which we can't get anymore) or the smoked Parma ham. It was pretty good! It was better with the smoked ham hocks, and it'd be better with more smoky flavor in it, but this variation was pretty good - and easily doable for more people. We may even try this with chicken or beef sometime.