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Put the ham hocks in a large saucepan with the star anise, peppercorns, bay and orange slices, then pour over the ginger beer. If there’s not quite enough liquid to cover the hocks, top up with water until they are submerged. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat so only a few bubbles break the surface now and then. Partially cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook for 1 hr 30 mins, topping up with water to keep the hocks submerged as needed. When ready, the meat should feel tender but should not fall away from the bone.
Remove the ham hocks from the stock to a board using tongs and leave until cool enough to handle. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Combine the mustard, sugar, allspice, stem ginger and ginger syrup in a bowl.
When the hocks have cooled slightly, use a sharp knife to cut away the skin, leaving a layer of fat. Put the ham hocks on a tray lined with foil and bake for 30 mins until the fat starts to crisp.
Remove the ham hocks from the oven and brush over half of the spiced ginger glaze. Return to the oven for another 20-30 mins, then brush with more glaze every 10 mins until the ham hocks have a thick, sticky crust and the meat is tender. Serve warm or leave to go cold and eat with gherkins or slaw, bread and mustard. Will keep covered in the fridge for up to five days or frozen for three months.