Beer-Braised Ham Hock

Beer-Braised Ham Hock
David Loftus
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Prep: 10-15 minutes with 2 hours / overnight resting time
  • Cook: 3 1/2 to 4 hours

If you’re cooking four smaller ham hocks (each weighing roughly 1¼ lbs), they will need 2½ to 3 hours in the oven. If you can only get salted ham hocks, rinse them in cold water before adding to the beer marinade, and leave out the salt.


2 ham hocks (each weighing about 2 1/2 lb) or 4 small ones
6cups pale beer
6cups water
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
10 black peppercorns
4tablespoons runny honey
4tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 stick of celery, cut in half
1 1/4cups green lentils
1small bunch parsley, leaves only, finely chopped


  1. Score the skin of the ham hocks with a sharp knife. Pour 5 cups of the beer and 3 cups of the water into a large bowl and stir in 4½ tbsp salt until the salt has completely dissolved. Add the lemon zest and peppercorns. Submerge the ham hocks in the brine, making sure they are completely covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the ham hocks from the brine and discard the brine. Stir the honey and mustard together and rub it all over the ham hocks.
  3. Place the onions, carrots, and celery in a large roasting dish and top with the ham hocks. Pour in 1 cup water and the remaining 1 cup beer. Cover with a layer of parchment, followed by a layer of foil. Bake for 3½ to 4 hours, basting the meat regularly with the juices and turning the hocks around from time to time. When done, the meat should be falling off the bone. For the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, remove the foil.
  4. Meanwhile bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the lentils, turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and toss the lentils with the parsley, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Serve by piling the lentils on a platter with the shredded ham, carrots, and onions; pouring over some of the roasting juices.

Recipe from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Chronicle Books, 2014).