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I am a fan of ham shanks/hocks. For under £2 you get loads of meltingly tender and super versatile meat.

This post was going to be about a ham terrine, but when I cooked the shank I realised that I should have bought two in order to fill my terrine, so I needed other ways to use the delicious shredded meat.

I know that most people like to soak their shanks over night, but I must admit that I like the salty kick – so unless it is really salty then I don’t soak (sssh, don’t tell the health police!).

By the way, does anyone know the difference between shanks and hocks? I think they are just different parts of the leg but do let me know if I am wrong.

Ham Shank Broth

Using the cooking stock from the meat, I made a broth style soup. In the stock went carrots, celery and onion. Nice chunks of meat and barley make this soup a really filling autumnal meal.

The soup has been bagged up and has gone into the freezer for easy after work meals.

Ham Risotto

I made a creamy risotto using a bit of the cooking stock (but only a bit- the rest was chicken as I didn’t want it to be too salty) and a big handful of the shredded ham and parsley. It was a great comfort meal for one on a night I was home alone.

The Hangover Killer

This morning I woke feeling a wee bit delicate! I managed to make it to the shops to buy some wholemeal wraps and super strong cheddar called Throstle Nest (great name!) from Butlers Cheese. I fried up the final shreds of ham with onion, celery and mustard, added them with the cheese into wraps and griddled the wraps until the cheese – and my hangover – melted.

Ham shanks are such a bargain – mine was £1.80 from Leigh Market – yet I think because you can’t get them in the supermarket with the weekly shop, many people don’t use these versatile joints.

I will be buying more next week to make the terrine I didn’t manage and am already thinking of other ways to use them.

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