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1.21.2009

Kochen Sie Deutsch? Ham hocks and Spaetzle.

I have been seeing a lot of ham hocks around the blogosphere lately.Its funny because ham hocks are widely used in the black culture in soul food. I have seen first hand a love hate relationship with this cut of swine. Its been widely substituted by smoked turkey to season greens and such.And most of us wouldn't be caught dead eating it in polite company . But its cheap and tasty and I'm happy to see a foodie resurgence. In Germany I loved the Eisbein which is the lower more meatier part of the ham hock. A typical ham hock has to much bone, fat, gristle , and skin, to eat alone. But the chunks of meat you get are out of this world. The Eisbein I had in Germany was meat fall of the bone succulent with crispy skin. I tried to recreate this with the lowlier ham hocks. I didn't get a lot of meat, but I got. The rest went in the trash bin. But it was enough to enhance my homemade spaetzle. I didn't have a fancy Spaetzle maker, but used a colander with large holes. This dish is for my Certain Someone. You know how some people talk dirty when their loved one is away? Me I cook this German style meal I know he would love to entice him to finish his business abroad and come home quick.

The ham hocks were cooked in a pressure cooker with about 3 cups of water, peppercorns, and 3 cloves of garlic for 45 minutes at a pressure of 15 lbs. I have had a pressure cooker for years and am just starting to discover the joys of it. I cooled it down quickly to release the pressure with the cold water method( running water over the pot and waiting till it cools down enough to release safely). I then roasted them on high to get the skin crispy. The skin is gelatinous but with patience you will get some crispy parts.

Certain Someone would be so proud of me. I made Spaetzle from a cookbook written in German! Maggi Kochstudio. Easy and straightforward. I converted the weights and measures.

Spatzletig for 2

1 3/4 cups flour ( 250 grams)

3 eggs beaten

2/3 cup water ( 1/8 liter)

salt

nutmeg

Water for boiling( approx 2 liters)

Boil your water in a pot.In a bowl place your flour. Add beaten egg,water, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly ( I used a whisk). Take a large holed colander and place a little mixture in at at time. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon run the mixture back and forth across the hole until it drops in the boiling water. The spaetzle dumplings will rise to the top of the water when done. Remove with a slotted spoon. Season to taste.

I seasoned and tossed mine with a leek sauteed in butter and the garlic from the pressure cooker.Salt , fresh ground pepper and a grating of Parmesan cheese.

Next time when Certain Someone comes home I will got to the butcher and get the Eisbein cut to ensure we have more meat. But this was a tasty trial run.


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25 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious! I love Spätzle (Spätzli in Switzerland), so you dish makes me drool! Such specialities are great.

Cheers,

Rosa

Nina Timm said...

Eisbein is definitely my choice too....We had a lot of those in Namibia. I am impressed with you for trying such amazing recipes...

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Get you making something from a cookbook written in German. I love anything cooked with ham bones and I don't mind picking at bones to get the meat off, so I think I'd love this.

The Caked Crusader said...

I always have Spatzli when I'm in Switzerland - I love it. The ham hock looks great too; I love this kind of food.

Jen said...

I don't think I've had spaetzle since I was last in Germany years ago... I've always meant to make it but never realized it was quite so simple. I've got to give it a try.

Deborah said...

I don't have a lot of experience with ham hocks - maybe I should experiment. And I've never had spaetzle - it's one thing I'd love to try!!

certain someone said...

Looks delicious! Which I was home to enjoy some German food.

Peter M said...

Aww, a sweet post...you sent CS a German dish thru the net...he loved it!

This is the 2nd dish with ham hocks today...keep 'em comin'.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Awww, that is so cute! :)

I love spaetzle! I have never tried making it before though.

Mary said...

I am a huge fan of spaetzle! I make it in my potato ricer. I just scoop the batter in and squeeze and it's way easier than cutting it off a cutting board or a spoon like my grandma always did!

kellypea said...

You are amazing. Seriously! First of all, I do put ham hocks in our beans when I make my mom's "recipe." Bacon doesn't cut it, and yes the meat is amazingly flavored. And the spaetzle? Jeez. I love it and have always wanted to make it. A colander, huh? How cool is that? Yah, no dirty phone talking here, either. It's all about food!

chou said...

Hopefully the resurgance on interest will not result in an increase in price (see shortribs for an unhappy example!!). Looks yummy.

Glenna said...

Yum! I love ham hocks too. And thanks for the collander trick for the spaetzle. I had no idea you could do it with a simple collander. That's fabulous!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

What a great dish to entice CS home with!!! I worked for a Swiss man And Spaetzle was a staple!

Jeanne said...

I'm fascinated by the idea of making spaetzle in a colander!! Clever, clever. ANd as for ham hocks, you don't really see them much around here, but what I have found at Borough is the very last bit of the Parma ham joint, the bit too much bone and fat to slice and sell - I am presuming these are similar? They sell them off for next to nothing and I have one in my freezer, WLTM some lentils :)

Lovely idea to send CS an edible love-letter!

Heather said...

Making your own spätzle is commitment. Nicely done. I usually just use them from the bag. :P

Lori Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori Lynn said...

Oh I love this! I posted spaetzle in October of 2007 and haven't made it since, I must revisit. We made a big mess when making it, how about you?
LL

Black and (a)Broad said...

Girl, you got me wanting to try this one out for my hubby. I've done Thai, Indian, Dutch (of course), Italian, and Soul but I've not yet tackled German. This recipe makes it look so easy (and tasty). I don't have a pressure cooker. Can I just boil the hamhocks?

Sara said...

What a great looking dinner! I made Spaetzle for the first time last week. I loved it! This is making me want some more now.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh that spaetzle sure looks good!
Total comfort food! Yumm!

Núria said...

I bet CS is proud of you!!!! Mmmm those ham hocks sure were a delish!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

MMmmmm. I love ham hock. I'm actually kind of glad it's not too widely known because that's what keeps the price down. If everyone knew how tasty it was I bet it would be priced more like bacon.

Y said...

Your spatzle looks great! And I love ham hock too. My special someone usually gets treated to an attempt at seduction with something Irishy like stew or wheaten bread. But stew isn't terribly sexy, is it? :D

Rita from Timber Creek Farms Organics said...

Thank you, Thank you for this recipe!! I'll be making it next week!! WOWOWOWOWOW