Sonntag, 24. Februar 2013

German pork roast with crisp crunchy crust and dumplings

Today I prepared a typical german pork roast with crunchy crust and potato dumplings, called Schweinsbraten und Knödel - if there is one dish everybody knows in Germany this is the one.

pork roast, crunchy, juicy and soft
And if there is something tourists cannot escape during their visits in Germany, it is also this traditional infamous pork roast. Every tourist trap in southern germany will serve it. In fact they are looking out for it - especially the chinese and american  tourists.

You need fat pork shoulder meat, skin on, and lots of time because this roast will take nearly 4 hours.
For our roast I bought pork shoulder without bones. There is no way to prepare a roast with less than the listed amount. Leftover roast can be cut into thinnly slices and tastes delicious in sandwichs with some mustard.

For the roast:

  • 1.5 kg pork shoulder, deboned
  • salt
  • Paprika
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse hot mustard
  • 1 liter chicken broth

Sauce base:

  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks or ½ small bulb
  • 2 bigger onions
  • 1 garlic glove, crashed
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 bottle dark malty beer
  • 1 teaspoon arrow root starch, stirred with a little water
  • pepper, salt, Worcester sauce to taste

 First sprinkle the meat with a good amount of salt and rub it into the roast, put roast into a plastic bag and store it in the fridge overnight.
Next day pat dry and rub the meat side with a mix of Paprika, freshly ground pepper, ground allspice and coarse mustard.
Set it skin side down into a large roasting pan, filled with 1 liter hot chicken broth  – the broth should not cover the meat but the fatty skin side layer and a little meat.

Let roast in the oven at 130 degree Celsius  for about 1.5 hours.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce base:
Cut the vegetables (carrot, onion, celery) into rough pieces and roast them with the garlic in a heavy pan until nicely browned (roast marks). 
Caramelizing the sugar
Add  1 tablespoon icing sugar and let it  caramelize, stir in tomato paste and afterwards 1 bottle beer (330 ml), 1 teaspoon caraway seeds and two laurel leaves, juniper berries. 
Let this simmer vividly, until the liquid is reduced to half.
Base ready for use
 After 1.5 hours in the oven, lift the roast out of the pan and put it on a cutting board. Cut the skin part (skin and fat layer) into a checkered pattern (don’t cut into the meat below) or cut it into a  stripe pattern (pattern the size of the later meat slices). 

Roast after 1.5 hours - with pattern
Fill beer sauce to the remaining chicken broth into the roasting pan and place the meat back into it, skin side now turned upside. Switch heat to 160 degree Celsius and let the roast go for another 2 hours. Just let it roast, do nothing else.
After 2 hours place the roast on a rack in the middle of the oven, turn on the grill and let the upper side get crunchy in about 10-15 minutes, use the surround heating system running at 220 degree Celsius. When the crust is well roasted, crunchy and puffy, remove the roast and place it on a cutting board. Let sit a few minutes.

Right before slicing
Meanwhile sieve the sauce from the roasting pan (squeeze the vegetables a little to catch their juices), remove the fat (as much as possible) and let the sauce simmer until reduced to half. Thicken it a little with arrow root starch and adjust the seasoning with pepper, salt and a few drops Worcester sauce.


Prepare the dumplings while the meat is in it's last 30 minutes oven time:

  • 800 g waxy potatoes, soft boiled in their peel
  • 1 tablespoon seminola
  • 60 g starch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • good pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 slice white bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon bacon cubes

Peel hot potatoes and mash with a masher until smooth (never blend them with an engine/blender), add starch, seminola and egg yolks, salt and nutmeg and knead into a dough by hand.
Cut white bread slice into tiny cubes and roast them together with diced bacon until nicely browned, add chopped parsley, sprinkle on a little salt - depends on the bacon.
Form a roll out of the dumpling dough, cut it into 8 slices, flatten the slices into discs, fill in a teaspoon bread and bacon, close and form ball shaped dumplings.  Bring 3.5 liter salted water (think pasta cooking) to a boil. Put dumplings into the boiling water and turn down the heat, let dumpling simmerr about 10 minutes over low heat, pot not closed by a lit. 

simmering the dumplings
Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and set dumplings into a bowl were a small plate is placed upside down. The dumplings should never sit without the possibility to drain

As vegetables side dish I prepared simmered swede (some sort of giant yellow turnip), other name is Rutabaga, and carrot with damaszene plums. Swede is still not that well liked by lots of people since WWII, but this is sad. It is such a nice seasonal vegetable. It deserves a better treatment. My mother still hates it.
  • 1 swede
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 handful soft damaszene plums
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt
  • pepper

Peel swede and cut it into thicker sticks, peel 2 carrots and cut it into quarters lengthwise and cut the quarters into 2- 3 sticks.
Heat a tablespoon butter in a saucepan, add the vegetables and sautee for 3 minutes, add brown sugar and caramelize (swede needs sugar - it tastes a little bitter), add a cup of water and some salt, close lit and let vegetables simmer until nearly soft. Add damaszene plums, they will add some sweetness and stir. Let sit and keep warm until serving.
 Serve meat cut into slices with dumplings and vegetables and a good amount of sauce.

Husbands share
My share


Amy hat gesagt…

Oh..This is such a gorgeous pork roast with crispy skin. I can't wait to try it. Whenever I roast things for long hours, I rather have big portions since I'm spending so many hours already! hahaa...Mind as well have some left over or another dish or sandwiches for the next day! ;)

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

I can never imitate your pork roast for lack of an oven of an appropriate size... I hope I can taste the traditional dish some day!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Amy: Yes, bigger roast are better. There is only one sad thing concerning big roasts: the crust will only stay crisp for one day.

Hiroyuki: This is the main difference between asian and western cuisine, no oven no roasts. My son is always complaining about the toaster oven in his chinese kitchen.

Sissi hat gesagt…

I have one word: "extraordinary". I never manage to obtain such a beautiful juicy pork roast. I will also look for it if I come as a tourist ;-)