Traditional dishes help us cope with winter when we are tired of the cold. The aroma of this dish in the house will make everyone feel at home. Bacon hock or shank and ham hock or shank are all close to being the same product. So buy whichever one you can, it will do a good job.


(Serves 4)

• extra virgin olive oil

• 2 brown onions, diced

• 20g chopped garlic

• 2 red chillies, sliced

• 2x400gm cans chopped tomatoes

• 1 litre stock (veal or chicken)

• 1 good-size smoked bacon hock/shank

• 500g dry adzuki split beans, soaked for 2 hours in water

• 1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and medium diced

• 2x400g cans corn kernels

• organic lake salt

• 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half

• 1 cup flat-leaf parsley

• ½ cup shredded basil

• cracked black pepper

• grated cheese (optional)


Heat some oil in a pot big enough for the recipe then add the onions and saute till soft (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and chilli for a further minute, stirring through. Add the tomatoes and stir, cooking for 10 minutes on high heat. Follow this with the stock and bacon hock and bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 2-2 1/2 hours until meat is falling off the bone. Remove meat, and bone, to one side to cool. Now add to the pot soaked and strained beans, pumpkin and corn kernels, cooking at a good simmer until beans are tender. Dice the cooled meat and skin and add back to the pot. Taste for salt and add if you need to (some salt leaches out of the bacon hock). If the mix is a little dry add a little more stock. Lastly, while it is simmering, add the cherry tomatoes, parsley and basil, mixing and cooking until tomatoes soften. A grind of freshly cracked pepper and it’s ready — bowl up and serve with crusty bread. You can add soup pasta to it 10 minutes before the end — or you can smother it with grated cheese. You don’t have to, but it’s a good option — yum!


© The West Australian

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