A pig’s hock is essentially its ankle, which you probably could work out just by looking at the thing. The pig equivalent of a lamb shank, this is similarly best when slowly cooked until it comes off the bone. But this is a cheat’s recipe, and uses already cooked ham hock, which you can often find in large supermarkets. If this isn’t doable, use sausage instead.

James Ramsden

Ham hock, beans and cider
Ham hock, beans and cider

Serves 2
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes if using ham hock, or 1 hour if using sausages


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 150g/5½oz cooked ham hock, or 2–4 sausages, cut into chunks
  • 200ml/7fl oz/generous ¾ cup dry cider
  • 400ml/14fl oz/1 ⅔ cups chicken or ham stock
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can butter beans (lima beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a handful of parsley, roughly chopped


1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and cook gently for 10 minutes or so, stirring often.

2. Add the ham hock (or sausages), cider, stock, beans, tomato purée and bay leaf, and stir to combine.

3. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes (45 minutes if using sausages), before serving with a salad and a hefty dollop of mustard.

Adapted from Love Your Lunchbox by James Ramsden (Pavilion)