Pork knuckle
Pork knuckle

With so many options for eating these days, it's understandable why we've become picky eaters. Almost everything can be found, so few people take the time to cook those classic dishes that grandmothers used to prepare a few years ago.

However, within the family recipe books, you can find several recipes that make the most of them. These recipes use ingredients that, for many, maybe "leftovers," but for our ancestors, they represented one more lunch for the family. If you research, you will realize there are dishes with every part of the pig, from the ears to the feet and, in this case, the knuckle.

The pork knuckle is a piece primarily used in German gastronomy. However, you can find several recipes with this part of the animal in different European and Asian countries.

It is a part of bone and is quite fatty, so cooking it for a long time is necessary. This is the secret to having an excellent result. Therefore, you must pay attention to the preparation and dedicate the required time because you will only obtain a delicious knuckle in this way. The meat will fall off the bone, be very juicy inside, and have a crispy skin that will give it the final touch.

Do you accept the challenge? It's time to cook!

How to prepare pork knuckle?

You should know that it is possible to remove the skin and fat after roasting in order to have a lighter and healthier knuckle. However, this is not something you will find in the traditional preparation. So it is up to you to decide how you want to serve it.

Ingredients: (For approximately 4 people)

  • 2 pork knuckles (Approximately 1 kg each.)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of dark beer 330 ml
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  1. To begin, salt and pepper the knuckles very well. You can make small cuts on the top and sides so that the salt and pepper can integrate better. Store the knuckles in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Add a whole onion to a pot of water along with the knuckles. Cook over high heat until it comes to a boil, then lower the temperature to the minimum to cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. During this time, preheat the oven to 150°C.
  4. Remove the knuckles from the water and place them on a baking sheet. Pour in half of the beer and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the black pepper, rosemary and thyme.
  5. Crush the garlic and cut the green bell pepper into julienne strips. Add all this to the tray and, if you made the cuts in the meat, place the garlic there.
  6. Put the meat in the oven and let it cook for about 4 hours, covered with aluminum foil. It can even take 4 and a half hours.
  7. Every 30 minutes, turn the knuckles over and proceed to bathe them with the juices they will release. Progressively add the rest of the beer and the cooking water to ensure that there is always liquid at the bottom.
  8. After 4 hours, remove the aluminum foil and cook at 200°C for 30 minutes on each side. Continue to bathe the knuckles in their juices. This will help to crisp the skin.
  9. After half an hour, the meat should be browned and tender and should be able to separate from the bone easily. If it is done, it is time to remove.
  10. Let it rest a little covered with aluminum foil and, after a few minutes, proceed to serve.

Tips:

You can accompany the knuckles with baked potatoes and apples, giving a salty and sweet flavor that will explode in your mouth. Both the potatoes and apples can be added to the platter during the last half hour of cooking the pork and, instead of seasoning them, you can pour in the juices from the knuckle. However, as this is a hearty dish, it can be eaten alone with a fresh salad if you wish.

Pork knuckle does not necessarily have to be roasted, although this is the most usual. In fact there are those who prefer to simmer it in a pot for hours with plenty of aromatic herbs or with a lot of dark beer. Even mustard and cumin are added to give it more flavor.

If you don't want to go through the process of seasoning and waiting overnight, you can buy the knuckles in brine. In fact, if you will be doing the pork in the oven, it is possible to buy the knuckles pre-roasted. This will take the cooking time from 4 hours to approximately 40 minutes. Ideal for those who want to save time without compromising the flavor of the dish.

You already have several tips and a basic recipe that will save you on several occasions. Surprise everyone with this incredible dish!

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