What do you think of if you are asked what are the traditional German foods? The Pork Knuckle, Schnitzel, Weiners (sausages or hot dogs) & Sauerkraut (Pickled Cabbage) comes to mind.
Not forgetting that Oktoberfest is up and coming and this dish would be a winner served with German sausages, sauerkraut & beer and/or lager!!
I have recently seen cuts of pork knuckle being sold by the butcher in the supermarket I frequent and thought of the German Roasted Pork Knuckle. Not the Chinese traditional use of this cut of meat of Pork Knuckle with Peanuts soup or Braised pork knuckle.
I left out a few ingredients in the preparation of this dish, not intentionally but forgetfully! The traditional way of either brining the pork knuckle was left for another time. What did I forget? Caraway seeds & beer for roasting. The dish turned out better than expected and the leftovers were put to good use as a variation of Pulled Pork.
Schweinshaxe (Roasted Pork Knuckle)
1.5 kg (about 3.5 lbs) pork knuckle, bone on
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 cloves of garlic
1 red apple
Sprigs of fresh rosemary & thyme
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (toasted & ground)
1 bottle or can of beer or apple cider (about 330ml)
- Peel onion and slice into rings of about 1cm or 1/2″ thickness
- Half the apple, remove core and slice into 1cm or 1/2″ thickness
- Remove skin of garlic.
- Place the onion rings (leave the rings intact), apple slices & garlic on a roasting pan or tray.
- Preheat oven to 150ºC (300ºF).
- Burn off any hairs that you see on the pork knuckle.
- With a very sharp knife, please be careful as this can be a challenge, cut the skin on the pork knuckle to make diamond shape cuts. Make a long cut from one end of the joint to the other. Make a few more long cuts. Then make slanted cuts to create the diamond shape on the skin. Diamond shape can be from 1″ to 2″. This helps to crisp up the skin during the final roasting.
- Season the pork knuckle with salt & pepper & caraway seeds (if using), try to get the seasoning into the cuts of the joint.
- Place a sprig or two of rosemary & thyme on top of the onion/apple rings. Place the pork knuckle on top of that. Place another sprig or two of the rosemary & thyme on the pork knuckle.
- Place in in the preheated oven to slow cook for 90 minutes.
- Wash & cut the potatoes into wedges. Half the potato. Half the halved potato. Lightly season with some salt & pepper.
- Remove the pork knuckle from the oven after 90 minutes. Place the potato wedges around the base of the pork knuckle. If you want an authentic German Pork Knuckle, this is when you pour the beer into the roasting tray.
- Return to the oven and cook for another 90 minutes.
- Remove the roasting tray. Remove the pork knuckle gently to another baking dish. For a crisper potato wedges, grill the potato wedges together with the pork knuckle.
- Crank up the heat of the oven to GRILL setting at 200ºC (400ºF), move the rack up to grill the pork knuckle.
- Grill for 20 minutes.
- Place the rest of the ingredients (onions, apple, garlic & liquids/fats) from the first baking tray into a food processor and puree. Discard the rosemary & thyme sprigs. This will be your gravy.
- Remove the crispy skinned Pork Knuckle and allow to cool before carving & serving.
- Reheat the gravy. Best served with salad and/or Sauerkraut (Pickled Cabbage)
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