Recipe of the Week: Dutch Oven Pork Hock Stew, by R.T.

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This is a good meal to prepare on a camping trip in a 3-legged Dutch oven, or at home in a stovetop model, as it can be left to cook all day while needing only occasional attention. The pork hock, or leg, is inexpensive and is enveloped in a thick skin (not fat) that is rich in collagen.

Ingredients:

  • a fresh pork hock,
  • carrots,
  • onions,
  • red potatoes
  • Seasoning blend of salt, cayenne, black pepper, coriander, garlic, and Spanish smoked paprika, adjusted to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat up a lidded 4-quart Dutch oven swabbed with a coating of oil, slowly to a moderate heat.
  2. Add the pork hock, water to cover, and seasoning blend; cover pot with the lid and bring to a simmer for several hours and then turning the hock over and continuing to cook for another several hours. (Don’t let it sit in warm water and think it’s cooking, nor let it get so hot that you have to scrape a burnt sludge off the bottom of the pot.)
  3. When the structure of the meat tissue collapses and the bones separate from each other, the bones can be removed. The carrots, onions, and red potatoes are cut up in large chunks, two or three times the volume of the fresh pork hock, and added at this time.
  4. Over the next hour, the steam from the savory collagen broth will permeate the vegetables in the low-pressurized environment within the lidded Dutch oven.
  5. Serve. (I like it served with a vinegar/mayo-style coleslaw on the side.)

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