Monday, 14 July 2014

World Cup Food Recipes - Germany

Roast pork on potato pancake with bratwurst sausages and sauerkraut

Germany last night defeated Argentina in extra-time to become FIFA World Champions for a fourth time overall but for the first time since 1990. No one could surely argue with the outcome of what was a magnificent tournament as the teamwork displayed by the Germans virtually throughout was exemplary. Yes, other teams had their big name stars who shone on the big stage but the German work ethic and unity ultimately paid dividends and earned them the right to lift the biggest prize in sport. I cooked this German meal last night and actually ate it while watching the final.

Sadly, this is the last of my featured recipes relating specifically to the 2014 World Cup. It doesn't seem like more than four weeks ago that I undertook to feature a recipe from as many of the participating countries as possible. This is the twenty-third recipe from the thirty-two participating nations. I have to apologise to those nine countries which I didn't manage to feature. This was down to a variety of reasons including unavailability of appropriate ingredients, an oven disaster in the case of England (I lost track of time and the dish was burned) but most of all to simple time constraints. I may try to feature something from at least some of those countries in the near future.

Roast Pork on Potato Pancake with Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

This recipe is based around a dish served in Bavaria called a schweinshaxe. A traditional schweinshaxe is a roasted knuckle of pork, served on the bone, popularly with gravy, potato dumplings and sauerkraut. I featured such a recipe on this blog a few years back. The main difference here is that I have removed the pork from the bone after it is cooked and rested, before serving it on an (almost) authentic German potato pancake with some (supermarket bought) sauerkraut and some totally authentic German bratwurst sausages.

Pork knuckle ready for roasting


1 pork shank/hock
Vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon plain/all purpose flour
1 medium baking potato
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
White pepper
6 bratwurst
Sauerkraut as required/desired
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
1 bottle of German beer to serve

Flour is added to beaten egg


The first step is to get the pork on to roast. Your oven will need to be preheated to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. You will also need to know the weight of the pork knuckle in order to calculate the cooking time of 35 minutes per pound and 35 extra minutes. Conveniently, this piece of pork weighed exactly two pounds, meaning a cooking time of one hour and forty-five minutes was required.

Lightly oil a roasting tray (to help prevent the pork sticking) and season the pork well with salt and black pepper. Lay it on the tray and put it in the oven for your calculated cooking period of time.

Around quarter of an hour before the pork is due to come out of the oven, beat the egg in a fairly large bowl and subsequently beat in the flour to form a smooth batter paste.

Potato and garlic are peeled and grated

Peel the potato and use a box grater as seen in the photo above to grate it on the coarsest side in to the centre of a spread out, clean tea towel. This is to easily allow you to squeeze the water out of the potato. If you don't do this, your pancake will not set properly in the pan.

Potato is grated in to a clean tea towel

Gather up the corners of the tea towel and over your sink, twist and squeeze to get rid of the water. You may be surprised by how much comes out!

Preparing to squeeze water from grated potato

Add the squeezed and grated potato to the flour and egg batter. Peel the garlic clove and grate it in to the bowl with a small hand grater. Season with salt, white pepper and the half teaspoon of thyme. Stir well to evenly combine and refrigerate for fifteen minutes.

Potato, garlic and seasonings are stirred through flour and egg batter

When you take the pork from the oven, pierce the thickest part with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear. Cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest/partly cool for fifteen minutes.

Roast knuckle of pork

The bratwurst could be grilled/broiled but I find you get much better results if you fry them fairly gently in a little vegetable oil in a frying pan.

Authentic German bratwurst sausages

Bring around a tablespoon of oil up to a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan. Add the bratwurst and cook on low to medium for around ten minutes until done, turning them around in the pan frequently.

Bratwurst sausages are gently fried in oil

The crackling/skin on the pork is considered by many to be the best part of the joint! I disagree. Not only is it unhealthy (pure fat), I find it plays havoc with my teeth. I therefore cut it/pull it off and discard it. Whether you do likewise or eat it is up to you.

Crackling is cut from roast knuckle of pork

The majority of the pork can be cut from the bone using a carving fork and knife. The final bits however will have to be pulled free by hand.

Roast pork removed from the knuckle bone

Pour a tablespoon or two of oil in to a second pan and bring up to a medium heat. Carefully spoon in the potato pancake batter and cook for three or four minutes before turning with a spatula to cook for a similar period of time on the second side.

Frying potato pancake batter

Lay the potato pancake and sausages on a serving plate. Spoon on your sauerkraut around the edges.

Potato pancake, sauerkraut and bratwurst sausages

The pork is served on the pancake. I'm not a gravy fan but if you wanted to make a simple gravy from the pork cooking juices, this would work very well poured over the top. Instead, I simply garnsihed with some chopped parsley, opened my weissbier and tucked in. Prost!

Authentic German beer is served with the best German meals

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