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Oktoberfest Crispy Pork Hock

Meat

Oktoberfest wouldn’t be the same without a delicious pork hock, crispy and juicy and with some dumplings and sauerkraut on the side. Pure bliss!

I’ve always thought that it is very difficult to make pork hock and really get it crispy but it turned out to be quite easy once you know how to achieve it. So, the cooking basically happens in two steps: You first boil the hock and then later put it in the oven – that’s all! OK, like always, the details are the design, so there is a little more to it like veggies, salt etc.

Video for Bavarian Pork Hock

What Part of Pork?

pork Hock

In Germany, we are using the part of the pig’s leg that is below the shoulder but above the feet. Here in Texas, I only find pork knuckles in a cooked and smoked version and that’s why I had to settle for a pork shoulder which is called a “pork butt” here, for whatever reason. That part is closer to the shoulder and therefore larger than what we use in Germany. So, while in Germany one person gets one hock, here the size is more suitable for two persons, I think.

Traditional Sides for Oktoberfest Hock

Munich Pork Knuckles

Usually, you’ll get this served with potato dumplings and sauerkraut … and a large beer! But serving it with other sides, is OK, too. You could serve it with dumplings from bread and red cabbage, just to give you an example. A potato salad or a Cabbage Salad would also be great side dishes! As you can see, there are quite a few sides that are great with pork hock.

The Crispy Crust

Getting the crust crispy and crunchy is the goal, while at the same time making sure the meat stays juicy. The latter is achieved by cooking the meat in water before putting it in the oven.

German Pork knuckles, Pork hock recipe

Part of the crispy crust making is, cutting the skin into squares. This will make sure it separets nicely and also will help to cut the meat for serving. Adding some salt to the skin of the pork can also aid in getting the crust. Most important is though, the oven. At the end of the time in the oven, I turn on the broil. Make sure you stay at the oven and monitor this process, so it won’t burn.

In my video, I was a little too worried that it might burn while I set up the camera for the next scene, so I have the crust only popped at some areas. If you don’t have a broil function or want to have a little more control over that process, you can use a kitchen torch and use this for popping the skin.

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Pork Hock

Oktoberfest Crispy Pork Hock

Barbara
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch (or Dinner), Main Course, Meat Dish
Cuisine Bavaria, German
Servings 2 portions

Equipment

large pot
Oven
kitchen torch – if no broil function in oven

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 Pork Hock approx. 4 lbs
  • Water enough to cover the hock in the pot
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Cloves
  • 5 Bay Leafes
  • ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 3 tsp Salt plus some more
  • 1 tsp Juniper Berries
  • 2 Carrots
  • ½ Leek
  • 1 bottle Beer German Weizen if available
  • 3 tbsp Butter for the sauce

Instructions
 

  • Clean the carrots and the leek, cut into chunks.
    2 Carrots, ½ Leek
  • Remove the skin from the onions.
    2 Onions
  • In a large pot, put the hock, vegetables, and spices.
    1 Pork Hock, 5 cloves of Garlic, 2 Onions, 2 Cloves, 5 Bay Leafes, ½ tsp Caraway Seeds, 3 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Juniper Berries, 2 Carrots, ½ Leek
  • Fill as much water into the pot as needed to almost cover the hock. Then empty the bottel of beer into the pot.
    Tipp: If you add hot water, it will come to a boil faster.
    Water, 1 bottle Beer
  • Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 90 minutes.
  • About 15 minutes before the cooking time is over, preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  • After cooking, remove the hock from the pot and cut the skin into squares. Add a little salt onto the skin (optional but recommended).
  • Put the pork hock into an oven pan and into the oven for 60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile use about 300 ml of the cooking water with some of the garlic, leek, and carrots for the sauce: Use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients, bring to a boil and reduce to about 200 ml, then let cool a little, add the butter and fold it in. If necessary, use some corn starch (diluted in some cold water) to thicken the sauce.
    3 tbsp Butter
  • Towards the end of the time in the oven, set the oven to broil and broil until the skin has popped and is crispy – observe the process to make sure it doesn't burn.
    If you don't have a broil function, use a kitchen torch to pop the skin.
  • Serve with the suggested sides from the blog post.
Keyword glutenfree, keto, meat, Oktoberfest
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About The Author

5 thoughts on “Oktoberfest Crispy Pork Hock”

  1. 5 stars
    Yep, this one’s a good one! I tried several German pork knuckle recipes and this is the one I’m keeping. Controlling the cooking process was easy, and simmering before baking kept the meat nice and moist. The skin came out fluffy and bubbly and crispy, and I had plenty of great bites to nibble on – so much so that I had to stop myself to spare my arteries! :) This is the part that makes me the happiest, as this was what gave me the most trouble on other recipes, and I had never managed to get the fluffy-skin part right until today.

    The remainder of the pork broth actually tasted delicious on its own, I think I’ll have a cup of that alone once I’m done eating.

    On its own, the pork has a nice little special taste to it – surely the product of cooking with the aromatics. The sauce adds a real pleasant dimension, and I’ll have to experiment with that a little more. All I had on hand at the time was a boring macro lager, and I guess a more “proper” beer will do the sauce better justice.

    Notes to self and future generations: Use the oven’s convection mode if at all possible. Put the pork on top of a grate above a drip tray, and flip/move it around during both cooking and broiling. Oven cooking time remains the same no matter the size (the piece I had was 2 lbs/1 Kg)

    1. I’m a little confused about your comment. The recipe is right here on the page, above the comments. Did you miss it?

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. We also don’t have the correct cut of pork in our area in Ohio, so I used the same as you did. It was okay – quite fatty, but nonetheless it was a nice meal for a rainy November day. The gravy was excellent with some mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and veg. Thanks much for the recipe. I’ll make it again for sure.

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