My Great-Grandfather Micheal Goyke came from the Chicago area in the 1880's to homestead in Hand County. During the Blizzard of 1888, my Grandfather, Bernard Goyke was born on that homestead. Micheal raised Duroc Jersey hogs, and later Bernard followed in his father's footsteps on the same homestead, with his wife Anna and daughter Berniece.
The wealthy viewed the knobby, gelatinous ham hocks as undesirable. Laborers used the marrow-rich bones and meat to flavor beans, vegetables, and broth. These were often referred to as "seasoning meats". The gelatin is collagen extracted from connective tissues of animals. The fibrous protein is the organic part of bones and teeth. It also contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which increase digestion and utilization of many dietary proteins. It's also helpful in the healing of soft tissues and wounds, and the formation of cartilage and bones. Minerals in the broth made from the bones are easily absorbed and promote the health of the intestinal tract. Acid is necessary to extract the minerals from the bones, hence the use of vinegar. The gelatin can be used as a spread on bread, or if you don't like it for that, it can be added to sauces or soup. Great flavor and nutrition! Collagen also works with elastin which gives the body tissues flexibility. This is very important to the lungs, bones, tendons, and even blood vessels. As people age, collagen degradation occurs ... which results in wrinkles .
Place hocks in large pot with onion, spices, and chili pepper.
Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until meat is
Tender and falls from the bone. Remove from heat to cool.
Remove pork from the liquid,
remove skin and most of the fat. Separate the meat from the bone. Discard the bone, fat, and skin.
Strain the liquid, place back in the pot and reduce by 1/3. Add vinegar to taste ( I like about 1 cup). Add meat and 3 Tablespoons pickling spice in cheesecloth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add another sliced onion
if desired. Pour into bowl and refrigerate for 3-5 days to set.
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