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Sauce For Beer Braised Pork Knuckles

Asked by Grunt. Answered on 7th March 2018

Full question

So disappointed with the Beer Braised Pork Knuckles. Maybe I did something wrong but I’ve gone through the recipe and as far as I see everything was according to the recipe. The caraway was terribly overpowering and the sauce was so bitter I tried adding sugar to neutralize the bitterness.

Our answer

Nigella's Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles With Caraway, Garlic, Apples And Potatoes (from KITCHEN) is a German-inspired hearty feast made with pork knuckles (shin) that are rubbed with a garlic and spice salt and then slowly braised in the oven until tender. Caraway has a mild anise flavour, goes well with pork and is popular in German recipes. The amount used is 1 teaspoon. We suspect that this is a matter of personal taste and if the caraway is too strong then you can certainly use less or omit it altogether.

The bitterness in the sauce will have come from the type of beer used. The bitterness in beer comes mainly from the amount of hops used when brewing the beer. There is a measure called International Bitterness Units (IBU) and this should appear on the label of the beer. This measure is from 0-100 and the higher the number the more hops in the beer and the more bitter the beer, though bitterness can come from other ingredients as well so while it is useful it is not an absolute guide. So it may be helpful if you are looking for a less bitter style of beer. But if you don't like the bitterness of beers generally then dry cider (in the USA hard cider) could be used as an alternative to beer. If you need to avoid alcohol completely then you could also use chicken or vegetable stock as an alternative.

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