Schweinshaxe or better known as Eisbein is a large pork knuckle roasted till crispy on the outside and fork-tender on the inside. This style is popular in Bavaria and South Africa.
1- 2 to 3 lb Schweinshaxe or Pork Knuckle Salt Pepper garlic clove 1 bottle Beer, preferably a darker beer
Optional: Garlic cloves 1 onion rough chopped caraway seed (whole or ground)
*Bi-Carb of soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
One trick for getting the skin nice and crisp...open up he package and let the skin dry in the fridge overnight. The trick most restaurants use but never tells is let it lie in water mixed with Bi-Carb of soda for half an hour then the heat of the oven will let the skin-pop like bubbles and turn it into crackling. This trick can be used for pork chops as well when the fat is removed and done separately.
Put the Haxe (hock) on the roasting pan, moisten with a just a bit of beer and salt and pepper it. Also, you can rub it with a clove of garlic. Some folks will rub with oil instead of beer. Also some folks sprinkle whole or ground caraway seed on the skin. I have also seen the Haxe placed on a bed of roughly chopped onion. This would keep it from sticking to the pan and season the broth if you used it for gravy.
Roast in an oven for about 4 hours. I pour some beer in there after an hour so the bottom to keep it moist.
After the skin has started to crisp I baste with beer about every 45 minutes or so. When it hits about 200 degrees internal temperature turn the oven up to 450 degrees or the broiler, pour over the Haxe a little beer, and crisp the skin for about 10 -15 minutes.
It is traditional to serve 1 Haxe per person. However you can bring this show-stopping dish to the table on a large platter and serve slices. Be sure to give some skin to each person, that is one of the best parts.
Typical side dishes with the Schweinshaxe are sauerkraut or braised red cabbage (Rotkohl) and Kartoffel Knödel or roasted potatoes.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 4 hours | Total time: 4 hours 15 min | Yield: 2 lbs, Serving size: 1
How to make home-made sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is often one of the first fermentation projects recommended to curious DIY-ers, and with good reason: It’s beyond easy to make, it requires very little special equipment, and the results are dependably delicious. All you need to do is combine shredded cabbage with some salt and pack it into a container.
How Is Sauerkraut Fermented?
Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation. To put it (fairly) simply: There is beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage and, in fact, all fruits and vegetables. Lactobacillus is one of those bacteria, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt and many other cultured products. When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
Why Should Sauerkraut Be Fermented?
Lacto-fermentation has been used for centuries to preserve seasonal vegetables beyond their standard shelf-life. The fermentation process itself is very reliable and safe, and the fermented sauerkraut can be kept at cellar temperature (around 55°F) for months, although those of us without cellars can make do with storing the kraut in our fridges. Besides preserving the cabbage, this fermentation process also transforms it into something incredibly tasty and gives it additional health benefits — fermented sauerkraut contains a lot of the same healthy probiotics as a bowl of yogurt.
What Do I Need to Make Sauerkraut?
At the most basic, all you need is cabbage, salt, and some sort of container to store it while it’s fermenting. It’s important that the cabbage remains submerged in its liquid during fermentation. When making sauerkraut in a crock, you usually place a weighted plate over the cabbage to pack it down and keep it submerged. When fermenting in a mason jar, inserting a smaller jelly jar filled with rocks or marbles in the mouth of the larger jar serves the same purpose.
The cabbage near the surface tends to float, so when fermenting in a mason jar, you need to either tamp down the cabbage a few times a day or place a large outer leaf of cabbage over the surface of the shredded cabbage to hold it down. Also be sure to keep the jar covered at all times with a clean cloth or piece of cheesecloth. This will allow airflow, but prevent dust or insects from getting into the sauerkraut.
How Long Does It Take to Make Sauerkraut?
Small batches a minimum time is about three days, although the kraut will continue to ferment and become tastier for many days after that. As simple as it sounds, the best rule of thumb is to keep tasting the kraut and refrigerate (or take it cellar temperature) when it tastes good to you. The sauerkraut is safe to eat at every stage of the process, so there is no real minimum or maximum fermentation time.
What Can Go Wrong?
Not much! You may see bubbles, foam, or white scum on the surface of the sauerkraut, but these are all signs of normal, healthy fermentation. The white scum can be skimmed off as you see it or before refrigerating the sauerkraut. If you get a very active fermentation or if your mason jar is very full, the brine can sometimes bubble up over the top of the jar. This is part of the reason why I recommend using a larger mason jar than it is really necessary to hold the cabbage. If you do get a bubble-up, it’s nothing to worry about — just place a plate below the jar to catch the drips and make sure the cabbage continues to be covered by the brine.
It is possible you might find mold growing on the surface of the sauerkraut, but don’t panic! Mold typically forms only when the cabbage isn’t fully submerged or if it’s too hot in your kitchen. The sauerkraut is still fine (it’s still preserved by the lactic acid) — you can scoop off the mold and proceed with fermentation. This said, it’s still important to use your best judgment when fermenting. If something smells or tastes moldy or unappetizing, trust your senses and toss the batch.
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