Skip to Content

Beer Roasted Crispy Pork Knuckle

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.

Pork is hands down my favourite meat. The knuckle with a bit of care and attention can be utterly spectacular.

This pork knuckle recipe is very homely and simple but it is a cut of meat that can be dressed up too.

Portrait close up of a roasted crispy pork knuckle showing crisp crackling

Easy Crispy Roasted Pork.

How about we kick off 2018 with something altogether fabulous and just a little bit frugal. I don’t know about you but Christmas and New Year always leaves me broke.

This hearty recipe hits all the right fiscal measures… Not to mention that it is basically all of my favourite things.

This ham hock salad is probably one of my personal favourites on my whole site! It also lends itself really well to Asian flavours as in this Chinese Black Bean Sauce braised Ham Hock.

As far as I am concerned it is a match for anything 3 or 4 times the price.

Now when I say a bit of care and attention I mean just that.

There are no mad chef skills involved here just a wee bit of time. Oh yeah, and changing the temperature on the oven a couple of once over 4 and a half hours…

So stupidly simple and a real winner, you will be fighting over the crispy skin on this every single time!

Don’t get me started on that beer and onion gravy that requires no more work than blending!

Portrait image of the meat from a roast pork knuckle served on a white plate with crispy crackling, red cabbage and boiled potatoes.

Pigs Have Knuckles?

Of course!

It is a cut of meat also goes by the name ham hock or pork hock and it is the bit of the leg that falls between the main ham joint and the pig’s trotter.

Stop pulling a face, I can see you!

Pigs trotters are responsible for the jelly in my pork pie and just like the trotter the knuckle is packed with tendon and ligament.

Sounds tasty right?

Well, it is these bits that break down under slow roasting or braising. This creates an insanely juicy and sweet meat that “never” dries out.

You could call it the pork knee or pork shank I guess as it is the same cut of meat as the lamb shank.

Variants on this ham hock recipe are crazy popular all over this part of Europe.

In Germany and Austria, it is known as Schweinshaxe and here in Hungary, it would be sörben sült csülök.

I have not been into a single old fashioned Hungarian restaurant in over 10 years here that does not have a version of this on the menu.

Rightly so it is spectacularly good and a cut of meat that is often overlooked.

As far as I am concerned it is the best cut of pork for roasting it never dries out!

Portrait image of the meat from a roast pork knuckle having gravy poured over it served on a white plate with crispy crackling, red cabbage and boiled potatoes.

Recipe Hints and Serving Suggestions.

To begin with, I will hold my hands up and say this pork knuckle definitely serves more than two!

Most of my recipes here are focussed on the smaller family, but sometimes you just have to eat what you love. And I love Roast Pork!

Your average Pork Hock will weigh in at around 1-1.5kg and despite common thoughts there is not a lot of waste. Particularly when it is slowly roasted.

The good news is that the leftover meat makes the best sandwiches! Slap on some of your favourite chutney and off you go.

As you can see from my video I blend the onion/garlic mix to form a thick onion gravy.

You can leave out some of the liquid and onions and add this back in after blending if you wish.

And the secret to that crispy crackling… Simple, that last 30 minutes. Remove the liquid, crank up that heat and watch it go!

When it comes to serving then this porker has to be served with braised red cabbage and boiled potatoes!

Square close up image of a roasted crispy pork knuckle showing crisp crackling
Yield: 4 Servings

Crispy Beer Roasted Pork Knuckle Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Pork Knuckle or Ham Hock is one of my favourite things to order off a menu. It is however, perfectly easy to cook this frugal classic crispy pork recipe at home!


  • 1.2 Kg Pork Knuckle
  • 300 ml Dark Beer
  • 350 g Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves


  1. Peel the onion and cut it into 1cm thick half moons.
  2. Throw the onion and garlic into the base of a heavy based oven proof pan.
  3. Stand the knuckle on the onions with "foot" end pointing upwards.
  4. Pour over the beer and then season the pork with the salt, pepper and caraway seeds then tuck in the bay leaves.
  5. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C or 350°F and roast for 3.5 hours. Keep an eye on the pan if it looks to be running "dry" pour in a little more beer.
  6. After the pork has been cooking for 3.5 hours remove the onions and liquid from the cooking pan and blitz to form a gravy.
  7. Turn up the heat to 220°C or 450°C and return the roast for a further 30 minutes.
  8. Alternatively, if you have a fan assisted oven increase the heat to 200°C or 400°F for 30 minutes.
  9. If you are using a fan assisted oven keep an eye on the pork as the crisping time varies greatly!
  10. Finally, reheat the gravy to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Thursday 14th of October 2021

Hi Brian, new to your site, but interested as most of your food looks like it doesn't take 2 days to make, and it's good wholesome home cooking. Tried the above pork hock recipe, (I've only ever done them in a slow cooker, in cider, beer, coke, pineapple juice, orange juice, or any mixture of the above). Followed your instructions, (my oven is fan assisted, so turned temp down to 160).after 2 hours, the beer had dried up, and the onions/garlic were on their way to being a charred mess. After 3hours ish, I removed the hocks, deglazed my pan as best I could, and made "gravy". Once blitzed, I tasted the gravy. Possibly the nastiest thing I've ever tasted. Poured it away, made gravy from veg water, oxo and bisto :( Meat was fabulous, this isn't a gripe, I'd just like to know where I went wrong with the onions/garlic/beer. wife said the crackling was the best she'd ever had!

Brian Jones

Friday 5th of November 2021

Hi Rick...

Sorry, it has taken a while to get back, I've been embroiled in moving countries so my response time has not been as quick as it should be.

It's really difficult to be precisely sure what went wrong, I have 35 reviews on this recipe to date and no one has reported a similar issue. My guess would be that you used a larger pan than me and as a result, the pool of liquid was shallower and it evaporated more quickly allowing the onions to burn. I can imagine it tasted pretty ropey, I am so sorry.

Hopefully, you give it another try, keep an eye on it and if the pan appears to look dry add a little more beer.

I have updated the recipe to reflect this.


Brian :)


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

Can I use a whole chicken instead and would I have to season the chicken inside out first with the salt and pepper and reduce the beer to ? What you think

Brian Jones

Thursday 16th of April 2020

That's something I have not really considered, I don't see any reason why it would not work. You would obviously need to change the cooking times, 60-80 minutes for a standard 1.5-2kg bird is fine. I would probably stand the bird on some thickly sliced onions to stop the cavity filling with beer which would impact the cooking time quite a lot.

Definitely season well inside and out with salt and pepper!

I'd take it out of the oven when the internal temperature of the thigh meat reached 67-68C and then rest for 10 minutes to come up to 74C and whilst that was happening I'd reduce the beer and turn it into a sauce.

Good luck and have fun :)


Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

Oh my husband would love this. I am a big fan of anything that involves red cabbage as well.

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of January 2018

Thank you.

Amy | The Cook Report

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

This looks like my ideal comfort food!!

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of January 2018

Thanks Amy mine too!


Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

What a wonderful marriage of flavors you got here Brian! I love pork with cabbage and red cabbage makes it all the more special during the cold winter months. The most essential spice that I can see here is caraway seeds. I know it must be sooo good! that's comfort food in my book. :)

Brian Jones

Thursday 4th of January 2018

Thanks Helene it really is a taste of right here right now :D

Skip to Recipe