Saturday Thoughts...Smoked Ham Shanks

I’m did some Spring canning to stock up my pantry this week as the temps were in the 30's and 40's and we had 4 inches of snow Wednesday and another 3+ inches Friday morning here in Southern Iowa, where some folks got up to a foot.  At least snow here in April melts quickly.
We canned bean soup and split pea soup again, as well as chicken and chicken stock.  This week ham shanks were on sale for $1.99 a pound, and they are what I use for canning bean and split pea soup…they are smoked and delicious!  These were brown sugar and honey cured.
Clockwise; bottom left :  Cooked ham shank, Package labels, two uncooked shanks.  
It occurred to me that not everyone has used or even seen ham shanks, so I took some pictures while I was waiting for my split peas to cook before canning them. 
The shank refers to a fairly meaty part just below the pork shoulder, and the hock refers to a much bonier cut taken from just above the feet.  As you can see, they don’t have as much skin and fat on them as ham hocks do.
I used to use ham hocks until I discovered ham shanks…I am a total convert!  They range in weight between 1 1/4 pound and 2 1/2 pounds.  This one, at about 1.795 pounds gave me 12 ounces of meat, just enough for 9 pints of soup. 
More meat, less waste, and a delicious smoky flavor!  I keep extras in the freezer if I buy them on sale.

Here are my favorite canning recipes using ham shanks: 

1 comment:

  1. I love ham but have been trying not to eat it. Looks good.


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