A pork knuckle is one of the most traditional German dishes. Basically, there are two ways to prepare a pork knuckle: One is the method that I show you here in my Youtube video: It is the southern German way to cook a pork knuckle. The meat is spiced only slightly, essentially with salt, pepper and cumin and then baked in the oven.

The special thing about this type of pork knuckle is the crust. Towards the end of the baking time, you start the grill in the oven and give high heat from above on the rind. This ensures that the rind intensively cooks, bubbles and becomes very crisp. But beware: If you do that, you should stay near the stove. Often a few moments decide between a perfect result and a burnt disaster.

I personally love this way of eating a pork knuckle. The crust is really great fun. It's also a great dish to eat with dumplings. It goes both potato dumplings and bread dumplings. For both dumplings you will find recipes on my youtube channel. (Just click on the words here in the text and you're there.) But my personal favorite is bread dumplings.

And here comes the recipe:


4 pig shanks, each about 800 grams / 28 oz

2 onions

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tsp caraway seeds

about 2 cups of broth

and one bottle of beer

Cut the knuckles lenghtwise then rub them with the caraway and salt and pepper generously

Roughly cut the onions.

Put everything into a baking dish, add the broth and the beer and put it into the oven.

Leav it there for two hours at 120 degrees Celsius (250 farenheit) circulating air.

Then you switch on the grill/broiler and double the temperature. 

The knuckle is getting it´s crust now. Don´t leave it alone in this phase because it will burn easily.

At the end you take it out of the oven, let the meat rest for a while and prepare the sauce: 
Let it boil in a pot, season it - it might need a little sweetness to be perfect and, if you like, you can add a little cold butter or starch.

That´s all. 

Eat it with dumplings and some vegetables. I like it with red cabbage or with savoy cabbage. 
I will show you how to prepare both on my channel.

Above, I have already mentioned that there are two types of preparation. The northern German is called "Eisbein". The leg is cooked. This ensures that the meat is very juicy in the end. But the rind gets very wobbly. Personally, I only ate this a few times in my life and never cooked it myself. I do not like it that much. But I've got you a recipe for it - if you just want to try it.

You can tell me afterwards if you liked it.

Eisbein is cooked with plenty of water in a large pot. In the pot comes: per person a knuckle from the front of the hock or a large knuckle from the rear leg for several persons

2-3 onions in rough pieces,

1-2 carrots in rough pieces

2 -3 cloves, 1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Pepper and

4 allspice grains

2 Bay leaves

Richish water (must be completely covered)