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Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles With Caraway, Garlic, Apples and Potatoes

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

This is a gloriously Germanic feast: pork knuckles, rubbed in salt, garlic and caraway seeds, then roast in the oven with onions apples and potatoes and beer. You need to go to a good butcher, ask for uncured meat, so that you, essentially, are getting pork not ham, and make sure to get the rind scored for you. That’s all you need to know before you start. As for once you get going, it’s as simple as it is splendid: I love this kind of cooking - everything in one tin, left to cook (save some casual basting with beer) slowly on its own in the oven.

This is a gloriously Germanic feast: pork knuckles, rubbed in salt, garlic and caraway seeds, then roast in the oven with onions apples and potatoes and beer. You need to go to a good butcher, ask for uncured meat, so that you, essentially, are getting pork not ham, and make sure to get the rind scored for you. That’s all you need to know before you start. As for once you get going, it’s as simple as it is splendid: I love this kind of cooking - everything in one tin, left to cook (save some casual basting with beer) slowly on its own in the oven.

Image of Nigella's Beer-Braised Pork Knuckles
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 6, or 4 with healthy Teutonic appetites

Metric Cups
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or 1 teaspoon pouring salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pork knuckles / hocks, their rind scored
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eating apples (cored and quartered)
  • 4 baking potatoes or just under 1kg / 2lb other main crop potatoes (cut into quarters lengthwise)
  • 1 x 500 millilitres bottle good amber or dark beer (not stout)
  • 500 millilitres boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon pouring salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pork knuckles / hocks, their rind scored
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eating apples (cored and quartered)
  • 4 baking potatoes or just under 1kg / 2lb other main crop potatoes (cut into quarters lengthwise)
  • 2 cups bottle good amber or dark lager (not stout)
  • 2 cups boiling water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7 /425°F. Put the salt and caraway seeds into a bowl, mince or grate in the garlic, mix everything together and rub the pork hocks with this mixture, getting well into the slits in the scored rind.
  2. Peel the onions, slice into rounds and make a bed or platform of them in a roasting tin. Sit the hocks on this onion layer and cook them in the hot oven for ½ hour.
  3. Take the tin out of the oven and quickly arrange the apples and potatoes around the hocks, then carefully pour half the beer (250ml / 1 cup) over, aiming for the hocks so they are basted as the liquid pours into the tin. Put back in the oven, turning this down to 170°C/150°C Fan/gas mark 3/325°F and leave to cook at this lower temperature for 2 hours.
  4. Turn the oven up again to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7/425°F, baste the hocks with the rest of the beer, and leave to cook at the higher temperature for another 30 minutes.
  5. Take the tin out of the oven and transfer the apples and potatoes to a warmed dish. Lift the hocks onto a carving board, leaving the onion and juices in the tin.
  6. Now put the tin on the hob over a medium heat and add 500ml / 2 cups boiling water, stirring to de-glaze the pan to make a gravy.
  7. Take the crackling off the pork and break into pieces, pull apart or carve the meat and serve with the apples, potatoes, gravy and some German mustard.
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7 /425°F. Put the salt and caraway seeds into a bowl, mince or grate in the garlic, mix everything together and rub the pork hocks with this mixture, getting well into the slits in the scored rind.
  2. Peel the onions, slice into rounds and make a bed or platform of them in a roasting tin. Sit the hocks on this onion layer and cook them in the hot oven for ½ hour.
  3. Take the tin out of the oven and quickly arrange the apples and potatoes around the hocks, then carefully pour half the lager (250ml / 1 cup) over, aiming for the hocks so they are basted as the liquid pours into the tin. Put back in the oven, turning this down to 170°C/150°C Fan/gas mark 3/325°F and leave to cook at this lower temperature for 2 hours.
  4. Turn the oven up again to 220°C/200°C Fan/gas mark 7/425°F, baste the hocks with the rest of the lager, and leave to cook at the higher temperature for another 30 minutes.
  5. Take the tin out of the oven and transfer the apples and potatoes to a warmed dish. Lift the hocks onto a carving board, leaving the onion and juices in the tin.
  6. Now put the tin on the hob over a medium heat and add 500ml / 2 cups boiling water, stirring to de-glaze the pan to make a gravy.
  7. Take the crackling off the pork and break into pieces, pull apart or carve the meat and serve with the apples, potatoes, gravy and some German mustard.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD
The pork and onions can be put in roasting tin up to 1 day ahead. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate. Just before cooking, rub with salt, caraway seeds and garlic and cook as directed.

MAKING LEFTOVERS RIGHT
Leftover pork can be stored in the fridge, tightly wrapped in foil, for up to 3 days. Eat it cold or reheat gently in a saucepan with leftover gravy, until piping hot. You should store any leftover gravy in separate airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Leftover pork can be frozen for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped in foil, then defrosted overnight in the fridge.

MAKE AHEAD
The pork and onions can be put in roasting tin up to 1 day ahead. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate. Just before cooking, rub with salt, caraway seeds and garlic and cook as directed.

MAKING LEFTOVERS RIGHT
Leftover pork can be stored in the fridge, tightly wrapped in foil, for up to 3 days. Eat it cold or reheat gently in a saucepan with leftover gravy, until piping hot. You should store any leftover gravy in separate airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Leftover pork can be frozen for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped in foil, then defrosted overnight in the fridge.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • Mmmmmmm mouthwateringly fab recipe! It's a totes hit!!! Love it!

    Posted by esienne3 on 18th February 2018
  • Tried this twice and second time around it was perfect as used twice the amount of Garlic & Caraway Seeds, also used Cider at the first stage & then Lager at the final basting stage instead, Wonderful!

    Posted by ALGARVENESS on 12th June 2017
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