How to Cook Smoked Pork Knuckles

Smoked pork knuckle looks like a fatty hunk of tendons and meat, but simmering or oven-braising turns this budget-friendly but richly flavored meat into a savory, succulent feast. The knuckle, actually a pork knee joint, is a traditional dish in Germany, where it is called schweinhaxe. Smoked pork knuckle is often served on a bed of sauerkraut or slow-cooked cabbage with homemade egg noodles or a plump dumpling on the side. During Octoberfest, the smokey meat pairs well with a full-bodied German beer.

Basic Boiled Pork Knuckles

Step 1

Fill a large saucepan with water. For more flavor, use chicken or beef broth.

Step 2

Place the pork knuckles in the liquid and bring to liquid to a boil.

Step 3

Cover the pan securely, then simmer the pork knuckles 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and you can easily pull the meat away from the bone with a fork.

Step 4

Drain the pork knuckles thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Braising to Enhance and Tenderize

Step 1

Rinse the smoked pork knuckles thoroughly, then coat the meat generously with salt. Rub the salt into the pork with your hands.

Step 2

Fill the roasting pan about half-full with water, or use chicken or beef broth for more flavor. Place the pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For a salty-sweet preparation, you can cover the bottom of the roasting pan with a bed of sliced onions and apples, then sprinkle the onions with caraway seeds.

Step 3

Cook the pork knuckles for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Remove the meat from the knuckle, or serve the knuckles on individual plates and let each diner remove the meat from the bone.

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