Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl (Pork Knuckle, Spaetzle, and Red Cabbage)

I was lucky enough to make it through to the second round of Project Food Blog!  Many thanks to the generous people who voted for me.  Your reward is something delicious!

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Last year my husband and I went to Bavaria.  Munich to be precise.  A good part of my family came to America from the southern part of Germany, so I jumped at the chance to go.  Munich was lovely, all old buildings and gruff yet lovable Germans, but what I remember most is the traditional Bavarian food.  It is considered by the locals to be tourist food and can be found in beer halls that celebrate Oktoberfest year-round.  These are places where you are more likely to hear people speaking English or French, and everyone has an enormous mug of beer.

I did not go for the atmosphere, however I must admit I found it charming in a kitschy way.  No, I went for the food.  Bavarian food is hearty fare that fills the belly after a long day of work.  Roasted meats feature heavily of the menu.  One of the dishes I sampled was called Schweinshaxe, or pigs knuckle.   It is an uncured ham hock that is seasoned, allowed to dry out, and slowly spit roasted until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender.  It was, in short, the best roasted pig I had ever had and I vowed to one day make it for myself.  That is where Project Food Blog comes in.

The Challenge:

Ready to tackle a classic dish from another culture? Pick an ethnic classic that is outside your comfort zone or are not as familiar with. You should include how you arrived at this decision in your post. Do your research then try to pull off successfully creating this challenge. Try to keep the dish as authentic as the real deal, and document your experience through a compelling post.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

I discovered there are two ways to make schweinshaxe.  One is to slowly braise the ham hocks in sauerkraut until tender.  The other, and the method I employed, is to season the meat, let it dry out uncovered in the fridge for 12 hours, then to spit roast it until the meat reaches 190 F and the skin is shatteringly crisp.  To complete the meal I made two traditional German sides, Spätzle (egg dumplings) and Rotkohl (sweet and sour braised red cabbage).

Schweinshaxe       Serves 4-6

4 ham hocks
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 whole cloves
4 juniper berries
10 black peppercorns

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

In a spice grinder, or a mortar and pestle, grind the salt, cloves, juniper berries, and peppercorns until there are no large pieces of spice remaining.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Prepare a sheet tray with a metal rack on top.  Place the ham hocks on the rack and season all sides with the salt mixture.  Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

When ready to cook thread the ham hocks on to a rotisserie spit.  Cook the hocks over high heat until the outsides are crisp and golden and the internal temperature reaches 190 F, abut 2 1/2 hours.  Remove from the spit and rest ten minutes before serving.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Serve with Spätzle and Rotkohl (recipes follow)

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Rotkohl     Serves 6
Adapted from Allrecipes – here

1 medium red cabbage, cored and shredded
2 large granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into sticks
1 large yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sea salt
8 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 juniper berries
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar, or more to taste
3 teaspoons cornstarch
3 teaspoons water

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und RotkohlP1015462

In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter.  Once melted add the cabbage, onion, and apple.  Carefully turn to mix.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and bring back to a boil.  In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and water.  Pour that mixture into the cabbage and stir to combine.  Turn off the heat and let cool for three minutes before serving.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Enjoy warm.

Spätzle    Serves 6

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Water for boiling – about 1 gallon

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the milk and egg yolks.  Mix until smooth, adding more milk if needed to make a slightly loose dough.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Bring the water to a rolling boil.  Press the dough through a potato ricer, or a colander, into the water.  Boil for five minutes then drain well.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter until it starts to brown.  Add the parsley and the spatzle and toss to coat.  Cook for one minute.

Schweinshaxe, Spätzle und Rotkohl

Serve immediately.

Voting for Challenge 2 is from 9/27 to 9/30 … and you can view my profile here, as well as check out all the other contestants!

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

Share This Post On
  • Joy

    I’ve always wanted to make Spatzle…hmm, and here’s another reminder. And I have a great weakness for roasted pork knuckle. It looks like the Filipino lechon, which I can never refuse to eat. So good!

  • Utter awesomeness Kelly! You are totally rocking on to round 3! I love the look of this dish – so pretty – and I bet it tasted OUT OF THIS WORLD! Well done!

  • Wow, it looks impressive! It sounds difficult to make,but it looks so good. This is awesome 🙂

  • Great post, Kelly!! You are rocking the PFB competition, and I knew you would. I have some cabbage from our CSA that I think needs to be put to some good use in Rotkohl… I’ve never tried it before, but it looks and sounds wonderful!

  • glad to see you made it through the first round, I have high hopes for you!

    This is a great looking dinner. We visited northern Italy and had a similar pork dish which I was very curious about. Will definitely put this on the to-do list, especially since red cabbage and spaetzle are already part of my repertoire.

    Let us know when voting opens!

  • Heather

    I can’t wait to try to make the spatzle. I have to tell you I love you blog! I started culinary school then my husband got transferred and now I live to far to go to another one your blog keeps me cooking! Thanks and congrats.

  • Wow! I love this post! Most of my family moved to Texas from Czech Republic in the late 1800s. I stil crave the German/Czech food I grew up on!

    Isn’t it crazy how many Germans and Czechs there are in Texas? 🙂

  • wow! hard as it is to pronounce the dish names, i am so loving the way they look! they look delicious. it reminds me of our Filipino pork favorites like lechon and crispy pata. your creation is beautiful. congrats btw on project food blog! 🙂

  • Look delicious and great post! Good luck (=

  • This looks awesome. Thanks for not putting puny little portions. This meal is meat to be hearty. You have my vote!

  • Glad to see someone else picked a German dish for the second challeng 🙂 Good luck!

  • Good luck! This looks amazing and I love the step by step photographs. You have my vote!!!

  • Heather

    What culinary school did you go to ?

  • MY WORD that pork looks incredible! I have always wanted to try spatzle, buttered carbs, don’t you know!

  • That pork looks amazing, can you send over some 🙂 Amazing post, can’t see what you have in store for the third challenge.

  • All you’re missing is a big ol’ knife sticking out of the top! Schweinshaxe is one of my favorite Bavarian dishes; I’m going to miss it when I return to the States next month! Good luck in PFB, you’re on my “Vote for” list 🙂

  • I have not made any German fare so I applaud you for such a thorough presentation, COngrats.

  • Congratulations this meal could be from a 4 star restaurant in Munich.

  • Wow, great job, Kelly! You really nailed it! Your spaetzle looks amazing, especially. I’m a big fan, haha.

  • I’ve been voting for you–I’m voting for about ten that I follow but IMHO you deserve to win this–you are already a star. Your recipes and pics are divine. Good luck!

  • I loved reading about your German recipes. My family is German and when I was growing up my mother made spaetzle all the time. But she called it spesilly. I’m not sure about that spelling LOL. It wasn’t until I was an adult and came across a recipe for spaetzle that I realized that was what she was making. I am sure at some point the translation went from spaetzle to spesilly because of us children. My mother or her parents didn’t speak German. Left overs were fried in butter the next day. Thanks for the memories! I keep meaning to make some myself but never do.

  • All i have to say is YUM. Nice work on this one.

  • You have my vote! Love your unique selection!

  • WOW! I’m impressed! That piece of meat is a beauty! And the classic dish is complete with the sides, too! Well done!! Best of luck in PFB!

  • Loved the photos and the post. We went to Munich last year for the first time also. I tried Honey Wine and TOO many sausages. You really did Munich and Bavarian food justice! 😀

  • You definitely got my vote for this one. Every last bit of this meal looks mouthwatering. I’m sure it will get you through to the next round of competition.

  • I want that pork nickle right now!! lol You know I’ve always wanted to try making spatzle. It actually looks fun to do from when I see people making them.

  • Spaetzle has been on my TO DO list for a long time. I need to make it soon, after all this contest business. I’ve never made it, thus it’s great to see the step by step on your site! Good luck 🙂

    Shelly 🙂

  • This looks super duper!Definitely got my vote. I am going to have to try this sometime soon.

  • I’m so glad to see so much German fare for this competition. I’m going to have to try the Schweinshaxe – it looks wonderful!

  • Wow your entry looks so similar to mine! Your pictures look fantastic. Don’t you just love how the German foods capture the flavors of fun times and fall. Good luck. You have my vote. Love your post!

  • Pingback: What An Offal Day! | Burp and Slurp()

  • Really nice job. I’m casting a vote – good luck!

  • Mmm… Knuckle. I can just picture telling my husband “We’re having knuckle tonight!”

    Knuckle becomes a ridiculous word once you use it more than twice. I’m sure you noticed during the write up of your meal! Well done.

  • I spent a summer in Munich when I was in college and spätzle (more specifically käse spätzle) were a regular in my diet – along with beer of course 🙂 I may just have to make some spätzle and bring those memories back!

  • This looks impressive! I have lived in Germany for 6 years and this looks pretty darn authentic. Had to vote for you. Now I am craving beer, Vielen Glueck!!!

  • I’ve always wanted to try making spaetzle. This looks so tasty that my mouth is watering just looking at it. Good luck in the challenge and you have my vote!

  • Ooh, I can’t believe you tried pork knuckle. I didn’t have the guts to try it when I was in Germany last (I was a pickier eater then). Maybe now I can make it at home!

  • what a lovely lovely post. love that you did something European.

  • Love traditional German food and don’t see enough of it around. I’ve only had ham hocks in beans where my grandmother used them for flavor. These sound really tasty — especially with the spaetzle and cabbage.

  • OMG this looks just like my grandma’s food!!! Love love love your entry, makes me think of home. 🙂 Just voted! Good luck!

  • Oh my that pork looks good! Love this. Thinking I’m gonna have to hit up one of the awesome local farmers for some uncured ham hocks. And braised red cabbage is a perfect side. Excuse me while I go wipe up my drool! 🙂

  • WOOWWW. What a colorful pork. It looks delicious.

  • Das schmekt gut! I’ve been away on vacation, so I missed this post earlier on. I just posted my recipes for our own Oktoberfest at home, from my Bavarian mom’s heritage. I haven’t eaten a Schweinshaxe in many years. You did it justice. Good for you for cooking the spaetzle in butter. That’s how the Bavarians do it. Our red cabbage is pretty similar. I love Bavarian food, the people and the scenery. Hopefully, we can go there next year. Malzeit!

  • Sydney

    Wow, I honestly don’t know if I could eat that. I mean, you make it look good, but you might have to blindfold me. I guess I need to adopt the philosophy of I’ll try anything once.

  • Pingback: Thanksgiving « When Two Hearts Collide()

  • Pingback: Charcutepalooza wraps up the year with the challenge to show off what you learned.()

  • kiki

    You should score the skin in a diamond pattern and rub salt in to get crispy crackling!

  • James B. Jensen

    In the early 80s, let’s say 1982, my wife and I went to Oktoberfest with two other couples. On our first afternoon at the Theriesenwiese we went to one of the bier tents for lunch. One of the women in our party wanted to order the oxen on the menu. Her pronunciation left a little to be desired and she received an order of schweinshaxen. I deliberately ordered the schweinshaxen. Both she and I enjoyed the meal immensely. Up to that time I had never seen a ham hock that large. I ate every speck.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This