pork knuckle

Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Pork knuckles have many fans and admirers around the world, yet, despite so many folks loving to eat them in restaurants (especially German restaurants or, if the opportunity presents itself, at the most famous “Knucklefest” of them all, Munich’s Oktoberfest 🙂 , very few people prepare them at home, especially in the US.
I assume the reason for this reservation is the fear of doing something wrong when preparing a rather underused and underappreciated part of the animal with which most cooks have never cooked.
While it can be daunting if one does not know how to do it right and there is a lack of proper guidance and hands-on experience, the following recipe it is nearly impossible to screw it up, therefore I hope it will serve to have more folks preparing this wonderful dish at home.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Ham Hocks  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pork Knuckles  on  ChefsOpinion
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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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Schweinehaxe (Pork Knuckle)

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before roasting……..

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during roasting……..

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after roasting……….

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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The >OTHER< Kraut

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Bayerisches Kraut  (Bavarian Cabbage) is the lesser known cousin of  Sauerkraut. Also made of shredded white cabbage, it is prepared from fresh, (not fermented) cabbage and its main characteristic is the inclusion of caramelized sugar and caraway seeds, which gives the dish its distinctive flavor and color. In my opinion, the only reason  Bayerisches Kraut  is not as popular as Sauerkraut stems from the fact that you can’t buy cabbage ready-sliced and therefore the extra work to do that prevents most home cooks to prepare this great dish. But let me assure you, the few minutes it takes to slice the cabbage are well worth the trouble and you will be rewarded with an extraordinary, flavorful dish which pair’s great with pork and game dishes.
Today I served my  Bayerisches Kraut  with  Eisbein, another one of my  “can’t live without it  ”  favorites 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for another version of Bayerisches Kraut
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Click here for Krautsalat (German Cabbage Slaw)
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Click here for German/Vietnamese Cabbage Rolls
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Click here for Sauerkraut on ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
As one reader has pointed out (thank you Sherry), you CAN get shredded cabbage at the supermarket. However, it is usually shredded very fine and therefore NOT suitable for Bayerisches Kraut.
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Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

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Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

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Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

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Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

Eisbein Mit Bayerischem Kraut, Senf & Meerrettich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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” Roasted Pork Knuckle ” ( Gebratene Schweins Haxe )

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A few years back when Maria and I finally had a chance and the time to visit Germany
after being away for 14 years, our friend’s, the Henning’s and the Otto’s took us to lunch
into Stuttgart, to a restaurant named “Ochsen Willi”. This place has been a famous
fixture of this city for many decades, mainly because of it’s Schweine Haxen.
Here is a Picture of Maria attacking her small portion of haxe during that wonderful lunch :
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Traditionally and ideally, this would be done on a spit roast, which I don’t have.
So I used the alternative method, slowly roasting the knuckle (or ham hog) in the oven.
I brined the meat in a brine of kosher salt, cayenne pepper, cider  and red wine
for two day’s. Then I removed it from the brine, padded the meat dry and seasoned
it with more cayenne and a good amount’s of garlic powder and onion powder.
I roasted the knuckle at 420 degrees for 30 minute, then turned the heat to 260 degrees
for 3 hours, after which I turned the heat up to 420 again for 30 minute.
Usually you want a roast to rest for about 20 minutes before you cut into it,
but not this baby. I’d like to see anybody who can resist the temptation to just whack
into this hunk of porkness as soon as it comes out of the oven.
In Germany, we either have this as an elaborate mal with jus, red cabbage or
white cabbage (in the form of sauerkraut, kraut salat or bayrisch kraut) and
semmelknoedel (Braed Dumpling),  or a potato side dish such as puree, dumplings,
roasted.  Most times however, a simple rustic bread and a good mustard on the side
is all that’s needed to achieve culinary bliss  🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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