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Pork Knuckle with Nutmeg Sauerkraut

Slofoodgroup Team January 12, 2022

Schweinshaxe with Traditional Bavarian Sauerkraut

Did you know that Oktoberfest, Germany's most beloved beer festival, is actually held in September and not October? 

That's right folks! If you want to enjoy the Bavarian experience, travel to Munich in September and make sure you order a good liter of beer and some pork knuckle. And if you can't travel to Munich, there's no reason you can't celebrate with Oktoberfest year-round from your own home, with hearty, meaty, Bavarian cuisine! Get a nice, uncured pork knuckle, some potatoes, and beers, and get cooking.

German Pork Hock, or Schweinshaxe, is a traditional Bavarian dish that is widely popular at Oktoberfest. It consists of boiled, then roasted pork knuckle and is usually served next to potato dumplings and sauerkraut.

Making Schweinshaxe at home is easy, all you need to do is to boil the pork in salted water for 90 minutes (or 30 minutes in the pressure cooker), then roast it for another 90 minutes in the oven. Must be paired with potatoes (potato dumplings, potato salad, boiled potatoes) and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut should be amplified with nutmeg and juniper berries, otherwise is not served properly.

How to make a the traditional Oktoberfest dish, Schweinshaxe, at home

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15‘

Cooking Time: 180’

Additional Time: 0’ 

  • 2 pork knuckles, about 1 lb each, uncured, unsmoked
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-6 juniper berries
  • 1 large onion
For the Sauerkraut:
  • 1 cup sauerkraut
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3-4 juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • freshly cracked black pepper, optional
To serve:
  • Potato dumplings or potato salad


  1. Bring water in a large container to a boil, add salt, onion, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and juniper berries. Add the pork knuckles in and allow to simmer on low for 90 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F, fan on.
  3. Remove the pork knuckle from the water to a rack in a roasting pan and bake for 90 minutes. Optional, but recommended, make a salted brine (1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp salt) in a cup and baste the knuckle from time to time with salted water.
  4. For crackling skin, increase oven temperature to high for the last 3-5 minutes.