This classic German meal of pork knuckle and potato dumplings is easy enough to replicate at home. Enjoy it as you would at a Bavarian beer garden: with a cold glass of your favourite ale.
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 200 g celeriac, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 1 onion
- 1-2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 small pork knuckles
- 300 ml dark ale
- dark gravy thickener, as required
- 1 kg starchy potatoes
- 150 g plain flour, more if required
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oven to 190°C (210°C in a fan oven), 375°F, gas 5.
In a large pot bring 2.5 litres water to the boil and season with salt. Add the carrots, celeriac, leek, onion, bay leaves and spices and re-boil.
Place the meat in the boiling broth and simmer on a low heat for approx. an hour and 15 minutes. Scoop of the foam that rise to the top in the beginning.
Remove the meat from the broth and pierce the crust with a knife. Place the knuckles in a roasting tin and roast for an hour to 90 minutes. During the first 30 minutes baste the meat every so often with the ale. During the last 10 minutes turn on the grill to make the meat crispy. If necessary add some water from the broth to the roasting tin.
To make the dumplings boil the potatoes in their skins in salt water for approx. 25 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel them and put them through a potato ricer. Add the eggs, a pinch of nutmeg, some salt and two thirds of the flour and knead into a fluffy, easily malleable dough. If necessary, work in some more flour.
With floury hands, shape the dough into portions. Place the dumplings in boiling salt water and cook without a lid on a low heat for approx. 20 minutes.
Remove the meat from the roasting tin and loosen the juice from the dish with some ale or water. If necessary add some gravy thickener and season with salt and ground black pepper.
Remove the dumplings from the water with a draining spoon and serve the meat with the dumplings and the gravy. Garnish with parsley.
Do not throw away the broth used to cook the meat in. Sieve it, remove the fat and then either freeze it or pour into a preserving jar whilst still hot. This broth is a rich stock which can be used as a basis for stews or as stock for roast pork.