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ham hock

The hock is the lower portion of a hog's hind leg, made up of meat, fat, bone, gristle and connective tissue. In the market, ham hocks are often cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Most have been cured, smoked or both, but fresh hocks can sometimes also be found. Ham hocks are generally used to flavor dishes such as soups, beans and stews that require lengthy, slow cooking. See also ham.