Our Ukrainian Christmas this year included this tradition Ukrainian delicacy. Jellied pork hocks are not exactly the most visually appealing dish BUT they are very tasty. You’re probably not going to get the picky eaters to try this. Just saying.
Ukrainian Studinetz (Jellied Pork Hocks)
4 large, fresh pork hocks
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a red onion
3 stalks celery, diced
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
4 cups chicken broth
water to cover
2 pkgs unflavored gelatin
dish of vinegar
dish of finely diced onion
Place pork hocks in a large pot
Add in the garlic, onion, celery, bay leaves, and spices.
Pour in the chicken broth and enough water to cover the pork hocks completely (to about 1/2 inch above). Bring to a boil and let simmer for 3 – 4 hours, until meat is falling off the bone.
Remove the meat from the pot and let cool. Once cooled, cut the meat and skin into small, chunky pieces and place in a good sized bowl – meat should cover the entire bottom of the bowl.
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a bowl. Discard the vegetables.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the warm liquid and gently stir in.
Ladle the broth over the chopped meat in the bowl to fill the bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to let gel form.
In the morning, you can gently scrape the solidified fat from the top, if desired.
Dunk the bottom of the bowl in warm water to help release the studinetz. Run a spatula around the edge to loosen it and then flip bowl onto a serving platter.
Serve with rye bread (or your favorite crackers) and a dish of vinegar and onions.
If your jelly is thick enough you can slice the jellied pork hocks for sandwiches. If it is not thick enough, it still works great as an appie with bread or crackers.
We had mixed reviews at Christmas dinner. It is definitely one of those dishes that gets a conversation started. If you are a visual eater and are usually scared off by not-so-pretty looking food, I would say do your best to give it a try anyway! The flavor won’t disappoint.
It is a strange texture though. No getting around that.
My verdict? I liked it. Sue’s verdict? She couldn’t get past the texture and only tried a minuscule piece of the meat with the jelly scraped off. But, she said the flavor was good.