Ham Stock

  • 2 1/2lb. Meaty smoked ham shanks or ham hocks
  • 2 quarts cold water 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

Combine ham shanks and cold water in to a 5 quart heavy stock pot and bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, partially covered, until shanks are tender, about 2 hours. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large metal bowl, reserving shanks and discarding remaining solids.

Discard skin and bones from shanks, trim and coarsely shred the meat, then return to the stock.

Stock can be cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered for 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month. Makes about 3 ½ cups.