Place the ham hocks in the stockpot. Cover with cold stock or water and bring slowly to a boil. Skim off any scum that forms. Continue to simmer the stock for 1 hour.
- 6 quarts cold chicken stock, reconstituted chicken base, or cold water
- 4 pounds smoked ham hocks
- 8 ounces onions, chopped
- 4 ounces leeks, chopped
- 4 ounces celery, chopped
- 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
- One 2-inch slice ginger, slightly crushed
- Sachet d'epices:
- 5 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- The above ingredients are placed into a 4" square of cheesecloth and tied into a sack.
Add the mirepoix and sachet and continue to simmer for 1 more hour. Strain through a china cap lined with cheesecloth, then cool the stock properly in an ice-water bath. Refrigerate and skim off the fat that rises to the top.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)