Roast Pork Knuckle (Schweinshaxe)
Serves 4, prep time: 15m, total time: 5 hours
2 pork shanks (skin on, 2-3 pounds each)
Large brown/Spanish onions, sliced thick (2)
Minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
Juniper berries, crushed (2 tablespoons)
Caraway seeds (1 tablespoon)
Kosher salt (2 tablespoons)
German bockbier, dark beer (2 bottles)
Chicken stock (2 cups)
Sauerkraut (1 bag)
Place the pork shanks on a plate in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered.
Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. Cut the onion into thick slices and place into the bottom of a large, deep dish roasting pan. Place the pork shanks in the roasting pan so they rest on the bed of onions. Season the pork shanks with the minced garlic, then the crushed juniper berries, salt and caraway seeds. Pour 1 cup of bockbier over the shanks and then place into the oven for 30 minutes.
Lower the oven to 300°F. Remove the shanks from the oven, pour 1 cup of chicken stock over the shanks, baste with the pan juices and then return to the oven for 4 hours, pouring the beer and chicken stock over the shanks and basting as needed with the pan juices, every hour on the hour.
After 4 hours, remove the shanks from the oven and baste one final time. Add more chicken stock or beer to ensure the onions don't burn for the final 30 minutes of cooking. Raise the oven temperature to 450°F and put the shanks back in the oven for 30 minutes to put a final crisp on the skin. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the natural pan juices and onion. Garnish with a dollop of sauerkraut and pour some of the pan juices over the sauerkraut.
Note: The total cook time for the shanks is 5 hours.