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….. đŸ˜‰

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.

Grilled Lamb Kebab with Red Cabbage Salad

This new cooking show is one of my favourite, Jamie Oliver’s ” Save with Jamie”. I like the show, because they talk about how you save money by eating at home, as that’s what Jamie always emphasised in his previous cooking shows. He always encourage people to cook and eat at home instead of dining out. This new show, they also talk about the nutrition and calories level of the meal, which is good information to get about the dish. One more thing I love, is about food waste. How to make use of food that you always have problem with, those you almost need to throw away, but turned into something else that you can just save them instead.

Watched him cooking this the other day, and would like to cook this for my husband, because he likes lamb kebab. To shop for the ingredients, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, red cabbage, mixed greens, tortillas, Greek yogurt and some pistachios. First of all, to get the minced lamb done, season with salt and pepper, then mixed them well with some finely chopped onion and some breadcrumbs, and get them on the skewer or stick. Then get your red cabbage chopped into thin slices, place them in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add some white vinegar into the bowl, then squeeze the red cabbage until they are all soft and well absorbed the vinegar. Finish them by adding a touch of sugar.

Now, let’s get the pistachios, cumin and fennel seeds into the mortar and crash them nicely and fine, put them aside and we will use them later for the lamb. Grill the lamb with a pan, when they are almost done, paint a layer of honey on top and then dive them into the pistachios to get that nice texture and coating as the final touch. Heat up the pan and fry the tortillas, serve them with the mixed greens and lamb with some Greek yogurt on top, and some red cabbage aside.