Porkliscious ecstasy

It may be hard to find a tastier animal than the ordinary pig. Around the globe every great food culture has at least one incredible pork dish. Whether you are talking about the spit roasted pig from the Philippines, pork carnitas from Mexico, or classic southern pulled pork bbq, its a wonderful world to live in for fans of pork. As seems to be the case with four legged animals, one of my favorite cuts is the shank. Shanks are tough cuts of meat. With that toughness comes the need for low and slow cooking, but more importantly a ton of rich delicious meaty goodness. So with that in mind I offer up my recipe for Schweinshaxe – German braised pork shanks:

Schweinshaxe with German style Potato Pancakes

3-4 fresh(not smoked/cured) ham hocks
2 TBS Butter or Lard
1 onion diced
1 stalk celery diced
3 carrots diced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 TBL Juniper berries crushed
1/2 TBS Mustard Seed
2 TSP Caraway seed
Salt and Pepper
Water
12oz Beer*
Cornstarch
Potato Pancakes(recipe follows)

Heat oven to 325°F. Melt the butter or lard in a dutch oven. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Brown shanks on all sides. Remove from the pan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sweat the vegetables. Add the shanks back along with the thyme, Juniper, Mustard, and Caraway. Add enough water to cover the shanks by half. Add beer. Braise uncovered in the oven for about 2 hours or until tender, occasionally basting with the liquid. Remove the shanks and set aside, cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the liquid. Bring braising liquid to simmer on the stove. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry. Serve sauce over the shanks along side potato pancakes.

German Potato Pancakes

Shortening
3 cups shredded potatoes
1/2 onion shredded
Salt and Pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour

Mix egg and flour in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and onion. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Scoop out and form pancakes. Cook the pancakes in shortening. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Thursday, October 22, 2009.

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