Andrew Jennrich, chef de cuisine of Farmhaus (3257 Ivanhoe Avenue; 314-647-3800), describes this smoked ham hock terrine as "my half- ass, feeble attempt at an homage to the greatest barbecue empire in the world, Mike Emerson and Pappy's Smokehouse, while still using some of that Farmhaus tradition."
"We actually do a similar version of this dish [at Farmhaus] from time to time as well," he adds, though his recipe includes suggestions for home cooks who might not have the full arsenal of tools (a vacuum sealer, for instance) that Farmhaus does.
See Also: - Andrew Jennrich of Farmhaus Sees St. Louis on the Precipice of National Recognition - No, He Meant the Champagne of Beers and Not-Poisoning a Prince of Saudi Arabia: A Q&A with Andrew Jennrich of Farmhaus
Smoked BBQ Ham Hock Terrine
3 to 4 hocks from 120-pound hog sides* * - hocks from store would probably be half the size we use
Dry-Cure Rub: 1 cup kosher salt ½ cup brown sugar
Ham-Hock Stock and Sauce: 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 stalks of washed celery branches, chopped a little fresh thyme bay leaf black peppercorns Dijon mustard apple-cider vinegar
1. Liberally rub cure mix into the hocks with your hands. Massage salt-sugar mix into hocks until the heat from your hands has literally dissolved the mix into the meat.
2. At the restaurant we would vacuum-seal the hocks to "force cure" them -- basically compress the salt-sugar into the meat in a quick period of time -- but the home cook could simply wrap each hock very tightly in plastic wrap.
3. Place hocks in refrigerator for 3-4 days if vacuum sealed, or 5-6 days if wrapped in plastic.
4. Remove hocks from fridge, rinse cure off of them under cold water, then pat dry with towel and place back in fridge for 24 hours. This will dry out the outside, which will allow the hocks to take on the smoking process better.
5. After 24 hours, remove hocks from fridge and place in smoker. Set smoker to 200 degrees and smoke hocks for 8-10 hours. For those home cooks with no smoker, I use my charcoal grill at home. Place some wood chips over the top of the coals and "smoke" hocks with indirect heat source.
6. Remove hocks from smoker and place them in stock pot with just enough cold water to cover with carrot, onion, celery branches, thyme, bay leaf and black peppercorns. (Basically now we're going to braise our ham hocks and also make our ham-hock stock for the base of our bbq sauce.)
7. Simmer ham hocks until very tender, about 6 hours or so depending on the size of the hocks.
8. Remove hocks from braising liquid and let cool enough to handle and then pull meat from them. Be careful to remove any tendons around the meat -- ham hocks have a lot of these things. Also: leave the meat in decent size pieces. (Don't shred it like a pulled pork sandwich or something.)
9. Reduce ham-hock stock by ¾ until very flavorful and a sauce consistency begins to form. We fortify ours with trimmings from our house-smoked hams at this point. Putting some store-bought smoked ham in here is a fine substitute.
10. Once ham hock broth is reduced, remove the ham trimmings. Measure ham-hock liquid and then add equal parts Dijon mustard and apple-cider vinegar to the liquid (i.e., all three parts -- mustard, vinegar and broth -- are equal).
11. Reduce sauce to desired consistency. Note: This sauce is VERY SHARP. Adjust this sharpness with cane syrup to your liking.
12. Fold in reduced sauce with braised ham hock meat. There may be more sauce then needed at this point, so fold in enough sauce that the meat begins to have a nice moistness to it. Readjust seasoing if necessary.
13. We roll our "terrine" into a more of a "torchon" using plastic wrap and letting the meat and sauce cool which will naturally "set" the terrine. The home cook can simply line a bread pan with plastic wrap. Put the hock/sauce mix into the bread pan and cover with remaining plastic wrap. Put a slight weight on top of the terrine to compress the meat just a little bit to aid in it "setting."
14. Put terrine mold into fridge overnight.
15. The next day, remove the terrine from mold, slice with bread knife and serve with toasted bread and hot sauce!