Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Austrian Style Pork Hock

NAME: _Austrian Style Pork Hock

1 sliced shank of pork (see Notes)
150g bacon
150g Strassburg section
1/2 cup lard
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 nutmeg
1 green apple
2 glasses red wine
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp german or dijon mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper
200g brine sauerkraut (see Notes)
2 medium potatoes
2 medium carrots
12 small brussels sprouts
150g pickled beans (see Notes, need to be prepared ahead a week at least)
1 litre water
salt to season

In a heavy-bottomed pot, place the lard. Wash and then pat dry the pork slices, add to the lard on medium heat, and fry until the meat takes a bit of brown colour. Chop bacon, onions, and Strassburg sausage, and add to pot.

Core, peel, and slice the apple around 5mm thick slices, add to pot. Add the caraway seeds, and grate half a nutmeg over, add the fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of salt,fry for about five minutes turning often.

Pour the red wine over, stir in the mustard and grape molasses, add a litre of water. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for at least one hour and up to two, until the pork skin is soft enough to cut with a fork.

Peel and dice potatoes to 2cm cubes, peel and slice carrots to about 2cm slices, wash and trim the brussels sprouts. Add these to the pot along with the sauerkraut and pickled beans, try not to rinse them beforehand, Bring back to a simmering boil and leave to simmer for another half hour or until vegetables are tender.

Serve with crusty bread or dumplings or - why not? - with both. Good if made a day ahead, too.

The shank is pre-sliced at the butchers as "casserole" pork. If not, get your butcher to slice it into 1.5 cm slices for you, unless you want to spend ages with a hacksaw and washing bone chips off. Skin definitely on for this dish.

Pickled Beans:
Make a brine 2 water 1 vinegar 1/2 salt by weight, top and tail green beans, fill a clean sterilised jar with beans, then pour hot brine over, put lid on, and shale to release any air bubbles. Add more brine to completely cover, allow to cool, store in a cool place.

The pickled beans are something I like to have in the fridge because they keep for several months like that, and I can buy beans when they're cheap and still have them available in off-season. I also pickle raw cauliflower florets, baby carrots and julienne carrots, and radishes this way, same reason. They store for months in the fridge or a cool spot.

The sauerkraut I discuss in another recipe on this blog, you can use the salted sauerkraut that you find in delis and some supermarkets. Don't use pre-flavoured and prepared sauerkraut for this, it needs the salt/lactic acid flavour.


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