The shanks are the thinner part of the lower legs and are almost always cut into round discs and sold as stewing meat for potjies or stews; they also make a rich stock. The skin around the hock and the shank contains large amounts of collagen, which turns into gelatin when cooked. Hock and shank meat is often added to terrines or meat loaves, which are eaten cold, as the gelatin will ‘set’ the dish while also providing meaty flavour.
Pork trotters speak for themselves and are prepared and cooked the same way as hocks and shanks. They’re sold at low prices, and a big pot of curried pork trotter stew is a rich and comforting protein dish when the budget is tight.