Just in time for Oktoberfest, today I am sharing with you a recipe for German style roast pork hock – with my homemade sauerkraut. My new man has been telling me how much he liked German style pork knuckle, so I decided to cook it for him. I didn’t realise that it would cause a bit of a sensation among my friends when I posted pictures on Facebook. There are a lot of people out there who love pork hock!
And for good reason. The meat close to the bone is really delicious. And it makes the most delicious crackling. Ever. Even nicer than a pork roast, or pork belly, and it is much, much cheaper. There are two types of pork knuckles. I am using the larger variety, which are kind of like a small leg of pork (really the same, just this is the lower bit). In Canberra they sell for around $10 a kilo, and they weight between 600g to 1kg.
Of course, keep the bone after eating it and make soup – so that way you will get more than one meal out of it. I served this with baked potatoes and homemade sauerkraut. It made the best toasties the next day with cheese, sauerkraut and pork meat.
1 pork hock, around 1 kg
1/3 cup beer (leftover fine)
1/4 a large cabbage
- On the day that you plan to make this, unwrap the pork hock early. Leave in the fridge for several hours for the skin to dry out a bit (this will help make it crispy), then massage in some olive oil and salt.
- Place the beer in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add in the pork hock and cook on slow for around six hours. After around two hours, add some peeled potatoes.
- Remove the pork hock from the slow cooker and place on an oven tray. Place in the oven under a grill, and grill on a high heat until the skin turns to crackling. It will ‘pop’, earning the crackling name. Be careful not to allow it to burn.
- Remove to a plate, slice and eat with German mustard, potatoes and sauerkraut.
- Allow at least three days to make the sauerkraut.
- Slice the cabbage thinly. I like to use a German style mandolin, which I find makes really consistently sliced pieces. Sprinkle on around 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Agitate the cabbage, i.e get in and really squeeze it and need it. As you do this, liquid will begin to come out of the cabbage. Do this for about ten minutes until the mixture has become very watery.
- Place the cabbage into a wide-mouthed jar. Pack down firmly, ensuring that the top is still covered with the watery liquid. You can top up with whey (e.g. leftover from making labna yoghurt cheese). The idea is to ensure that the cabbage mixture remains wet. Also be sure to leave a bit of space at the top of the jar.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for around three to four days, then place in the fridge. Use as needed.
Pork hock $10
Beer – leftover, free
Olive oil – 5c
salt – 5c
Cabbage – 45c
Potatoes – 50c