I was introduced to this unforgettable piece of crispy pork at a Christmas party in the ancient castle in the center of Nuremberg. Not only was I blown away by the ambiance and unique new taste of schweinshaxe, but also the number of “ancient” steps my drunken host tumbled down right after being introduced to the American guest (me).
In Munich, these crispy gems are served all year long but are a staple at Oktoberfest.
Schweinshaxe – Roasted Ham Hocks
- Large pot
- Roasting pan with rack
- 3 large Fresh pork knuckles (unsmoked and uncured)
- 1½ tsp Black peppercorns
- 6 Bay leaves
- 6 Juniper berries
- 2 medium Onions, peeled and quartered
- 1½ tbsp Caraway seeds
- Simmer Hocks – Bring water in big pot to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, and juniper berries. Turn heat so water is gently simmering and submerge hocks. Let them cook at a low temperature for 90 minutes. Be careful not to let the water boil.Roast Hocks -Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Transfer hocks from the water to a cutting board. Pat dry with paper towels and make diamond shaped incisions in the skin using a sharp knife. Rub hocks with caraway seeds and salt. Place them on a rack in a roasting pan and put them in the oven to bake for 80 minutes, turning at the 40 minute mark. After 80 minutes turn on the broiler and broil for 10 minutes to get a super crispy crust. Serve immediately.
- This can be made in advance by cooking past the boiling stage and refrigerated before finishing the recipe the day it’s to be served.