Eisbein is a classic of German cuisine. If you look at the meat before it is cooked and garnished with sauerkraut on the plate, you know where it gets its name from: The firm white layer of fat surrounds the meat and looks very much like snow and ice. No more Chia seeds, Acerola and Schickimicki! You’d better put an honest, traditional superfood on the table – Sauerkraut. Yes, that’s right. The only bells and whistles you need in Germany, besides plenty of beer, is a solid knuckle of pork!
- 3 onions
- 1 bunch soup green
- 2 knuckles of pork with rind (à approx. 800 g)
- 6 bay leaves
- 30 g clarified butter
- 10 juniper berries
- 1 tsp caraway
- 800 g fresh cabbage
- 250 ml vegetable broth (instant)
Directions for Eisbein
- Peel onions and quarter 1 1/2 onions. Clean and wash green soups and cut them into coarse pieces. Wash the knuckles. Put quartered onions, 3 bay leaves, green soup, salt, pepper and knuckles in a large pot.
- Bring to the boil covered with water and simmer at medium heat for about 1 hour. Remove the knuckles from the stock. Pour the stock through a sieve and measure 1/2 litre. Place the knuckles on a fat pan of the oven.
- Bake in a preheated oven (convection oven: 175 °C/ 350 °F) for approx. 1 3/4 hours. Sprinkle gradually with the measured stock and braising stock. Meanwhile dice 1 1/2 onions finely.
- Heat the lard in a pot. Add onions, 3 bay leaves, juniper and caraway and sauté briefly. Add cabbage. Deglaze with stock, season with salt, pepper and sugar and braise for approx. 40 minutes.
- Arrange knuckle of pork and cabbage on a plate.
GOES WELL WITH Potato Dumplings
If the cake is difficult to remove from the warm cake tin, take a sharp knife and carefully try to loosen it from the sides of the tin. Turn the tin upside down and tap gently on the base. If it still doesn’t come out, take a wet, ice-cold tea towel and place on the base of the tin. This will entice it out of the tin as it doesn’t like the cold!
Even if you can hardly believe it: In the post-war period, people mainly bought food that was advertised as “particularly fatty” in the butcher’s shop window. Those who really wanted to eat their fill ordered “knuckle of pork with sauerkraut”, in restaurants. This original German standard dish enjoyed great popularity until the 1960s. The post-war hunger was still great and only politicians needed diets. Today, you can put this traditional German dish back on the table in a slimmed-down form. But how did the knuckle of pork get its name – after all, it is served hot and not eaten cold? The knuckle of pork is the part of the pig’s leg that is located between the knee or elbow joint and the tarsal joints. It is also called shinbone. The word “leg” stands for “bone”. The rest has to do with skating: In the 17th century, Dutch immigrants brought ice skating to Germany. Bones from the pig’s hind leg – “Eisbein” – were often used for the skate blades.