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Cooking German for a German – Grilled pork knuckle with dark beer

My husband is a German, and I always get asked if I cook German meal for him? As people reckon pork knuckle is one of the well-known dish in Germany, people would love to try the pork knuckle that I cook to see how authentic is it. To be honest, I’ve never cook pork knuckle and I’ve never seen my in-laws cooking pork knuckle back in Germany neither. My husband is not a big fan of pork knuckle and neither am I. He said this dish is more from Munich and the south area, it is not that popular at the region where he is from. Anyway, let’s try it out, as I always want to try and see.

So I’ve looked into few recipes online, one from the German which is super simple, just with salt and pepper and some garlic paste, and here you go. I think I would like to go for something a bit more complicated, then I was kind of following this recipe with the dark beer, which sounds more German to me at least….. 😉

The first challenge I am encountering is, could not find pork knuckle at the two meat shops nearby! That’s so weird to me, as I think pork knuckle is a popular dish, maybe it’s not. I finally found it at Park’n Shop, but those are frozen from Canada with Chinese package, and look so Chinese to me. They look more for soup or Chinese way of cooking, I am a bit skeptical. It seems no other options than taking those, it’s a take it or leave it situation, unless I think of something else to cook, or go somewhere else to search for pork knuckles. I decided to get those, and let’s see.

To cook this dish, is going to take 3 hours, so please plan ahead and see when do you want to have dinner and work back the start cooking time. And defrost also take some time, or you use the oven to help you to do so. Let’s start preparing! Get a big tray, and chop 3 onions in the tray as the base, season the pork knuckles with salt and pepper, and some mixed spices, just pick those that you like. Then, put the garlic paste all over the pork knuckles, and finally add some fennel seeds on top. Pour half bottle of Erdinger dark beer in the tray, then put it in the oven under 220C for 30 minutes. Then, prepare your potatoes and green apple, chop them in big chuck and place at the bottom. Pour more beer in and place the tray in the oven under 160C for 1 hour, don’t forget to pour the beer on top of the pork knuckle from time to time, that will help the skin to be crunchy. Add more beer and cook for another hour under 160C, then keep adding more beer, switch the oven back to 220C and roast it for the last 30 minutes.

After 3 hours in the oven, take them out and remove the pork knuckles and potatoes from the tray, and cook the reminding until it becomes thicken and use it as the gravy. You can serve the pork knuckles with some sauerkraut, to make it like a real German dish. But I serve it with some green salad, which is not bad at all. I still feel it is too rich and I am still not sure if I like pork knuckle much, same for my husband. Well, at least I did try, and the result is not bad.

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