Yay for holidays!
And yay for having time… time to recover from a busy term, time to spend with family, time to read some books, time to catch up with friends and time to cook!
One thing I’ve been looking forward to trying is this German/Austrian roast pork hock. I was pleased to see these huge ones for sale at the Pork Mart & Poultry in Greenlane. I knew that one would be more than enough for us for dinner. Plus, it’s such an inexpensive cut of meat. Bonus!
After browsing online, I ended up making some minor adjustments to Nigella Lawson’s recipe for beer braised pork knuckles – you can find her recipe here.
It’s a pretty easy meal to make, it just takes a while once it’s in the oven. I served mine with some mashed potatoes and a red cabbage side dish (which was also easy to make – I just sautéed red cabbage with onion, sliced apples, bay leaves, cloves, red wine vinegar and butter). You could easily serve it with sauerkraut and any other potato side dish.
This is a great mid-winter meal – comforting, hearty, and plenty of crackling to meat ratio!
Schweinshaxe (roast pork hork)
1 large pork hock, or 2 small ones, rind scored
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp crushed/minced garlic
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 bottle of beer
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
Rub skin of hock(s) with oil, salt and garlic, doing your best to get into where the skin has been scored. Sprinkle all over with the caraway seeds.
Place in a baking pan and cook for 30 mins at 220 degrees Celsius. Then pour the beer into the bottom of the pan, lower the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius and return the hock(s) to the oven for 2 more hours.
After this, baste the pork with the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat back up to 220 degrees Celsius and return the pork to the oven for 20-30 minutes more, or until the skin has turned to crackling. Then it’s all ready to eat!
If you wish, you can use the juices at the bottom of the pan to make a gravy (I did this by boiling it with a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it and then served it on the side).