Crispy beer-roasted pork knuckle is a Central European most famously known as Schweinshaxe it features juicy meat and incredible crackling.
My version is based on recipes and flavours from my time living in Hungary and is an ode to a dish that was so often my favourite thing to order on a menu.
Easy Crispy Beer Roasted Pork Shank or Hock
Welcome to a recipe for one of my favourite things to eat… in all my time in Hungary, this is a dish that always turned my head on restaurant menus.
But it’s easy to make at home and it’s wonderfully frugal and it tastes fantastic!
Crispy beer roast pork knuckle is arguably most commonly known by its German name in Europe, Schweinshaxe.
However, I know it as ropogós sörben sült sertéscsülök, can you tell why learning the Hungarian language made me cry and swear so often?
But in my 13 years living in Hungary, I never went into a single old-school restaurant that didn’t have some variation on this dish on the menu. It was also the dish that seemed to sell out the most often!
If I am cooking a full-on Sunday lunch it is usually a straight-up coin toss between this and my slow roast pork belly recipe.
Both produce the most incredibly crackling and wonderfully moist meat. The kicker is that pork knuckle will probably be anywhere from 30-50% cheaper per kilo than pork belly.
Naturally, there is a little less meat, but a 1.2-1.4 kilo pork knuckle will easily serve 4 people!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pork knuckle the same as ham hock?
They are the same cut of meat however ham hock tends to be cured. They will either be brined or smoked.
Can I use a cured pork knuckle for this recipe?
No, the salt levels become overwhelming, if you omit the salt during the cooking process the ingredients will work.
However beer is not the best match for the cured pork, I would use cider instead.
Is pork knuckle known as anything else?
Yes, it is often also called, pork hock or pork shank.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, although eating it fresh from the oven is a very special treat. But the meat will be fine in the fridge for 2-3 days and the crackling will stay crisp, but the fat will be less than pleasing when cooled.
What beer do you use?
I developed this recipe with a dark Central European beers or beers known as “Bock”, sadly they are not as commonly available in the UK.
Since returning to the UK I have been making this with Leffe Brune, a dark wheat beer from Belgium.
But it is awesome with anything that would normally go with a piece of roasted meat.
Mash is an excellent start, mashed potato or celeriac mash are both wonderful, although something a little sweeter works well too. As a result, I would probably be more inclined to add swede and carrot mash or clapshot a Scottish swede and potato mash.
Of course, we are roasting a big old lump of meat, so it would be rude not to throw some roast potatoes in the oven too!
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Hob/stovetop to reheat the gravy.
- Small saucepan to reheat the gravy.
- Roasting pan or tin.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- A combination of weighing scales and or a measuring jug, measuring cups and spoons.
Popular across all of central Europe my version of beer-roasted crispy pork knuckle has definite Hungarian leanings and features dark beer and caraway seeds.
- 1.2Kg (2½ lb) Pork Knuckle
- 375ml (1½ Cups) Dark Beer
- 175ml (¾ cup) Chicken Stock (Plus more to let down the gravy later)
- 450g (3 Cups Prepared) Onion
- 6 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Tsp Caraway Seeds
- 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Peel the onion and cut it into 1cm (½") thick half-moons.
- Throw the onion and garlic into the base of a roasting tin and pour over the chicken stock.
- Stand the knuckle on the onions with "foot" end pointing upwards.
- Pour over the beer, season the pork with salt, pepper, and caraway seeds, and tuck in the bay leaves.
- Place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C or 350°F and roast for 3½ hours. Keep an eye on the pan if it looks to be running "dry" pour in a little more beer.
- After the pork has been cooking for 3½ hours remove the onions and liquid from the cooking pan and blitz to form a gravy adding more stock as required to let down the gravy.
- Turn up the heat to 220°C or 450°C and return the roast for a further 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you have a fan-assisted oven increase the heat to 200°C or 400°F for 30 minutes. If you are using a fan-assisted oven keep an eye on the pork as the crisping time varies greatly!
- Finally, reheat the gravy to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 786Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 273mgSodium: 831mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 80g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.