Schweinshaxe or Pork Knuckle, Served at a Traditional Bavarian Restaurant. Photo by author.
In North America, pork is a staple meat in many households, but few have heard of the culinary delight that is pork knuckle. This German dish, also known as Schweinshaxe, is a slow-cooked, crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside pork dish that is a favorite in beer gardens and traditional German restaurants. The cut is often called the ham hock in North America.
Pork knuckle is an amazing dish that has been enjoyed in Germany and other European countries for centuries, and for good reason. The knuckle is a cut of meat that is rich in collagen, which when cooked low and slow, transforms into a juicy, flavorful, and tender delicacy. The outside of the knuckle is seasoned and then roasted until the skin is golden and crispy.
While pork knuckle on its own may be a new dish for many in North America, it is a beloved dish in Europe, and for good reason. Not only is it delicious, but it is also an affordable and filling meal that can feed a crowd. There are of course Bavarian Restaurants in North America that serve the dish and the ham hock is a traditional ingredient in southern country cooking, but it is time for the Pork Knuckle to make its appearance as the flag ship dish in restaurants and family dinners. When properly done it competes with any roast, steak, bird, or traditional main.
Beyond its flavor and affordability, pork knuckle is also a dish that has cultural significance in Germany. It is a dish that is often associated with traditional beer gardens, where friends and families gather to enjoy good food, good company, and good beer. However, It is a dish that is well-suited to the tastes and preferences of North American palates, and it is a dish that is easy to prepare and share. A North American gastropub, sports bar, or family restaurant would do well to offer as an option.
In conclusion, pork knuckle is a dish that should be more popular in North America. It’s delicious flavor, affordability, and simplicity make it an ideal dish for any occasion. The swine industry should take advantage of this underused dish to increase pork’s market share.
So why not gather some friends, crack open a few suitable beverages, and give pork knuckle a try? Your taste buds won’t regret it.
Another Serving Option for Pork Knuckle, Photo by author
Jeff Day is the Editorial Strategist at Swineweb.com. He can be reached at Jeff@swineweb.com.