Pork Knuckle - German style recipe

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cookwewill

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Hello fellow foodies :)

I would like to show you something very European today, a dish that is not really known or popular in the States but it's a huge thing in Germany, Slovakia, Czech republic etc...

It's an oven baked PORK KNUCKLE... quite an underrated cut of pork in my opinion. Based on the feedback I have, it's not even common to find this cut in regular grocery stores, but the good butchers should be able to get some for you.

German style pork knuckle is cooked with beer, dark one is preferred, and even though it takes a good while to prepare, the recipe itself is very simple.

Baked pork knuckle is something like the ultimate dish to order in a beer pub and pretty much any solid beer restaurant in Germany simple MUST carry these on their menu.

What makes this dish typical is the crispy skin and fall apart tender meat on the inside.

Enough intro, this is how the finished "thing" looks like :)

kJci8OS.jpg


When cooking a pork knuckle, you have two choices... slow cooking on low, or pre-cooking it in seasoned water and then baking. The later option takes a bit less time and that's what I'm usually going with.

I've shot a video of the process for my cooking blog some time ago, so here it is if you wanna have a look. BTW: it's the most popular video on my channel so far, so looks like people are enjoying it :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3vCXHqbmqk

And now a text version of the recipe.

Ingredients first:

1 large rear leg pork knuckle
3 large onions
6-8 garlic cloves
4-5 bay leaves
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 allspice corns
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt
ground black pepper

As you can see, it's all pretty basic stuff. I'm pretty sure you have all these at home already.

And now some instructions:

- Start by boiling the pork knuckle in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil first, then add the knuckle.
- Season the water with a large onion, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds, 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, 5 allspice corns and 4-5 bay leaves.
- Simmer on low heat for 60-90 minutes, based on how large the pork knuckle is.
- Once the knuckle becomes tender, transfer it to a deep baking dish. Use a sharp knife to make cuts into the skin, do not cut into the meat itself.
- Prepare a marinade by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1-2 crushed garlic cloves. Brush the pork knuckle with the marinade from all sides, including the cuts.
- Roughly cut 2 onions and 3 garlic cloves and add them to the dish. Pour in a pint of dark beer and 2-3 ladles of the broth we made while boiling the knuckle.
- Add 3 stalks of rosemary to get some aroma in.
- Start baking the pork knuckle at 150C / 300F. This large knuckle will take about 2 hours to bake fully. Keep basting the meat with the juices at least every 30 minutes.
- Flip the pork knuckle after one hour to make sure it bakes evenly from all sides.
- For the final 30 minutes, turn the knuckle skin side up again and increase the oven temperature to 250C / 475F to make the skin nice and crisp.
- Once the skin becomes deep golden brown and lightly charred, we are done.
- Serve with bread, horseradish, pickles, mustard and spicy peppers.

That's it :)

If you want to see more pcitures and get some more tips, check this pork knuckle recipe on my blog.

Have you ever had this or maybe even cooked it? Lemme know :)
 

taxlady

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I have never seen pig's knuckles at the supermarket or in a butcher shop here. But, they must be available, because a local brasserie (one of the names for a pub, here in Quebec) serves them. I really enjoy that with sauerkraut and potatoes. That is one filling meal. I won't be making it, because my husband isn't interested because of the amount of fat. I will keep enjoying them either at that brasserie or we can order it from them through UberEats or Door Dash.
 

buckytom

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Wow, nice! That looks and sounds outstanding.

Roasted pork knuckles are a rarity here, even in NYC. My Slovakian MIL made them on occasion. You need a good rye bread alongside to cut through the fat.

Although, selling it as something unseen is a bit rich. I just had beef knuckle soup the other day. Korean style.

And I have yet to see anyone stump the members of this forum in almost 18 years.
 
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pepperhead212

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Nov 21, 2018
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Woodbury, NJ
That looks great, CWW! I never see that around here, in the grocery stores, but there are a couple of meat shops, one that deals mainly with pork, that I could pick up knuckles. I haven't cooked one for years - since I used to go over to the Italian market in Philly, where there were a lot of butchers, and often had deals on things like this.
 

GotGarlic

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Pork knuckles are aka ham hocks here in the South. People like to cook them low and slow in broth with beans. I grew up in Michigan and didn't eat them there, so it's not something I think about.
 

Just Cooking

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Springfield, MO
How interesting.

Brought memories of a neighbor, in the 60's who made this or something very similar and would invite us to share with his family.

I recall this as a delicious meal. :)

Today, as GG commented, we keep smaller ham hocks in the freezer for a great bean dish. :yum:

Ross
 
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cookwewill

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Yup, I know that these pork knuckles are hard to buy in the States, but hey, the butchers are obviously not throwing them away so they should be able to sell you some, when asked to :)

There is a lot of fat on this cut for sure, but quite a bit of it renders during baking and the meat "below" it is absolutely phenomenal :)

It's not a dish that people over here would cook all the time for sure though, it's more of a party or pub food, but whenever someone prepares it, it goes quickly :)
 

dragnlaw

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On average, how many would one knuckle feed? and the weight? all approx of course, but would give me an idea.

Looks delish and would love to try it.

My one experience (back in the mid 60's) was with pig's feet. :chef: I was penny pinching and someone convinced me that this was standard and cheap fare for a lot of ethnic groups (Montreal great source of ethnic for sure!).

The only thing I remember was the stink of boiled meat that saturated the apartment building. I don't even remember what it tasted like, what I did or anything! Just the stench! LOL :ROFLMAO:

Now, with about 55 years+ experience (and bless the internet) I might try it again! :LOL:
 

cookwewill

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Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Messages
114
Location
NA
On average, how many would one knuckle feed? and the weight? all approx of course, but would give me an idea.

Looks delish and would love to try it.

My one experience (back in the mid 60's) was with pig's feet. :chef: I was penny pinching and someone convinced me that this was standard and cheap fare for a lot of ethnic groups (Montreal great source of ethnic for sure!).

The only thing I remember was the stink of boiled meat that saturated the apartment building. I don't even remember what it tasted like, what I did or anything! Just the stench! LOL :ROFLMAO:

Now, with about 55 years+ experience (and bless the internet) I might try it again! :LOL:

As long as we are talking about the rear leg knuckle, you would have to be extremely hungry to devour that whole thing. It can feed 2 people comfortably, even 3 if the knuckle is really big. Also depends on how much of the fatty parts the people would actually eat.

These are usually about 1.5kg - 2kg, which is 3 to 4 pounds roughly. The one I have used was about 3.5 pounds, so really a large one.

Pig's feet are cooked too, but usually to make a type of broth that's used later on to make some products. There is pretty much no meat on those, it's just skin and bone... and yes, these can kind of stink when cooked :)
 

dragnlaw

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This recipe (already copied, by the way) is going on my to do list. Still not out shopping yet, but when I get out will start looking around for those knuckles. Have yet to explore the Asian market in Hamilton - the shopping list is growing!

Thanks Matej!
 

cookwewill

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This recipe (already copied, by the way) is going on my to do list. Still not out shopping yet, but when I get out will start looking around for those knuckles. Have yet to explore the Asian market in Hamilton - the shopping list is growing!

Thanks Matej!

You're welcome! Let me know how it went :)
 

dcSaute

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Apr 24, 2011
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I think Schweinehaxen are about as close to 'bbq' as one can get in southern Germany. up north more often they are simply boiled / braised and go by Eisbein.

around here (east coast USA) the smoked ham hocks are usually available, but fresh / cured are a special order at a butcher shop. size can vary from really small to decently large - these from earlier:
DSC_5042.jpg
 

cookwewill

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 13, 2021
Messages
114
Location
NA
I think Schweinehaxen are about as close to 'bbq' as one can get in southern Germany. up north more often they are simply boiled / braised and go by Eisbein.

around here (east coast USA) the smoked ham hocks are usually available, but fresh / cured are a special order at a butcher shop. size can vary from really small to decently large - these from earlier:
View attachment 50880

Smoked ones can work for this recipe too, but they have to be just "lightly" smoked, if that's even a valid term to use :) I mean, over-smoked tend to be too dry so it's not the best choice for further cooking.
 

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