How to Cook Pork Hocks - Schweinshaxn❤️
➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
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Learn how to cook pork hocks, not just for Oktoberfest, but anytime you want something traditionally German and wonderfully delicious! There are two main methods for cooking pork hocks. One is traditional in southern Germany and the other, in northern Germany. And, although I'm a 'northern' girl, I must say, that 'southern' dish is absolutely fabulous!
The southern one, Schweinshaxn, is a roasted pork hock, with a crispy-skinned crackling, that is common in Bavaria, especially for Oktoberfest. The northern one, called Eisbein, is a boiled pork hock, that's eaten with sauerkraut and pureed peas.
Both use fresh pork hocks (ham hocks). Smoked ones won't do for these recipes. You may need to search at your local butcher for there. An Asian butcher may also have these if you have no German deli close by.
I'm posting two recipes here, both for Schweinshaxn, the southern one. Choose the one that you like. Both have a similar end result, although the first one has a more flavored meat, due to the boiling process. It uses both cooking on the stove and finishing off in the oven. May sound like extra work. It really isn't and the results are worth it!
This is REAL German food, Oktoberfest style!
- Schweinshaxe (as it's called in southern Germany) is a roasted ham hock or pork knuckle and usually served with sauerkraut
- Eisbein (as it's called in northern Germany) is usually boiled and served with sauerkraut and pureed yellow peas
- Originally this was considered food for the poor people, aka Armeleuteessen, since it was made with inexpensive cuts of meat
- Since this is a tough piece of meat, full of connective tissue, ligaments, and muscle, it needs to be cooked low and slow, to turn it into delicious fork-tender meat
The second way to make Schweinshaxn is just to roast it, slow and long. Both are traditional and have their own followers, each claiming their pork hocks are the best.
The boil and roast method not only gives a yummy meat, it also produces a yummy broth that can be used to make a gravy, as well as for soups, etc. A two-in-one recipe, so to speak.
Tips on Pork Hocks ...
- When you buy the fresh pork hocks, try to find the meatiest ones you can.
- Depending on the size of the hocks, one to two meaty hocks will feed about three to four people. Served with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut, you've a traditional Oktoberfest meal.
- Check the fresh pork hocks to see if there are any hairs on the hocks before you cook them. If there are, the easiest way to get rid of them is to singe them off. Light a candle and hold the "hairy" hock over the flame, and the hair will "melt away".
Smoked hocks or fresh?
Smoked pork hocks are great, however they will make this dish taste like ham. If you want the traditional "pork hock" dinner, the type you get at Oktoberfest, then buy fresh pork hocks.
Learning how to cook pork hocks so that they'll remind you of Oktoberfest, really is easy. Here, the fresh pork hocks have already been boiled. The fat layer has been scored, the veggies added to the pan, and this is ready to go into the oven.
These boiled pork hocks are ready for the oven:
Depending on the oven, you may need to keep the hocks in for a bit longer than the 30 minutes in order to get the amount of 'browning' and 'crispiness' that you wish. If they aren't getting brown and crispy enough, turn on the broiler. Be careful though, that they don't burn.
Make sure that the base of the meat is in the liquid. To get a really crispy skin, do not baste the fat layer. It needs to be dry in order for the real browning to occur.
Fresh out of the oven, these pork hocks with their crispy rind are perfection:
1. Pork Hocks, boiling & roasting ❤️
- 1 leek, well cleaned, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 meaty fresh pork hocks (or more)
- salt, peppercorns, cumin (if desired)
- Put vegetables, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp peppercorns, and pork hocks in pot.
- Add water to cover, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until hocks are just tender - about 2 - 3 hours. Do not overcook.
- Drain, keeping vegetables and cooking liquid.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- To baking dish, add drained pork hocks, drained cooked vegetables, and a small amount of the cooking liquid. Score the fat layer.
- Bake 30 minutes, occasionally basting only the meat, not the fat layer, with cooking liquid. If the fat layer isn't brown and crispy, turn on the broiler and continue browning. Keep watch that it doesn't burn. This could take 5 - 10 minutes.
- Serve the hocks with potatoes and sauerkraut. If desired, serve the cooking liquid (thicken with corn starch if desired). Add a bit of cumin to liquid if desired.
- Keep the extra drained liquid from cooking the pork hocks. Use what's needed for the roasting process. Let the rest cool and refrigerate. Skim off the congealed fat and use the broth for soups or stews.
2. Schweinshaxn, just roasted ❤️
- 2 large onions
- 3 apples
- 2 meaty fresh pork hocks (or more)
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- about 2 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Thickly slice the onions and quarter the apples. Arrange these in the bottom of a roasting pan.
- Score the rind and fat layer of the hocks with a knife, in a crisscross pattern, without cutting into the meat. Rub the salt, pepper, and caraways seeds into the cuts.
- Place the hocks into the roasting pan, so that the meaty part is down. Pour about 1 inch of water into the pan, so that the meaty ends are submerged, keeping the rind/fat parts dry.
- Roast the pork hocks for about 3 to 4 hours until the internal temperature is at least 165°F. During the roasting process, you may need to add water to keep the meat ends of the hocks submerged in liquid. The rind should be crackly and browned. The meat should be fork tender.
- Serve the hocks with potatoes and sauerkraut. If desired, strain the cooking liquid and thicken with corn starch if desired.
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How to Cook Pork Hocks Just like Oma ❤️
By Oma Gerhild Fulson
Learn how to cook pork hocks, not just for Oktoberfest, but anytime you want something traditionally German and wonderfully delicious! A hearty meal any time of the year!
Yield: 1 hock per person
Ingredients: pork hock,
For the full recipe, scroll up ...