For the smoked ham hock
Peel and slice a medium onion. Sauté in a large stockpot (big enough to hold your ham hock) with 1tsp oil until soft. Toast the dry spices over low heat in a small pan until fragrant, add to the stock pot. Add the ham hock and add 10L of water or more to cover, making sure the ham hock is submerged.
Add the fresh herbs and bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to simmering and cover. Let cook for 1 hour or until tender.
Carefully remove ham hock from stock, set aside to cool slightly. Drain stock though a fine mesh strainer, removing the spices and herbs but reserving the liquid to cook your gnudi in.
When the hock is cool enough to touch, start pulling the meat off the bone, discarding the skin and excess fat. You can then keep the pieces large or pull them apart for a more shredded meat texture.
Chef tips: You can make the ham hock and broth ahead of time. To reheat the ham pieces, reserve some stock and bring back up to temperature in that, or alternatively, give a quick saute with some butter in pan before plating.
Smoked ham hocks are sold by a good quality butcher shop and are even found in most supermarkets these days. Make sure to get a smoked hock as it adds a nice depth of flavour to the dish, as well as takes less time to tenderise as it is already fully cooked.