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1 bacon hock or bacon joint

1 carrot peeled & chopped into large chunks

onion or shallot cut into quarters

1 stick of celery halved

black peppercorns 1 teaspoon approx

2 bay leaves

Approx 2-3 litres of water

I usually cook our bacon without soaking first, as the cure used does not give overly salty result, but a joint can first be soaked in cold water if preferred.

Put the onion or shallot, carrot, celery, black peppercorns and bay leaves into a large pan with the hock or joint. Cover with cold water, bring to boil and then simmer gently for one to two hours depending on size.  

Once the meat is cooked, it can be removed from the stock & used in another recipe or set aside.  Leave the stock to cool completely.  A layer of white fat & jelly will form on the top. This can be removed according to taste.  Once removed, strain the stock from the vegetables and peppercorns and use as a base for soup, such as Delia Smith's 'London Particular' (yellow split pea & ham).