I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone, so if you observe kosher or halaal food restrictions, this would be a good time to scroll back to a previous post and enjoy that…
If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)
Photographers, artists, poets: show us DINNER.
I am from German descent- so my surname tells me. When a dish must be called after me, it must be something that I enjoy cooking, and eating. So I give you- the Smoked RIder Eisbein…
If there is one meal that I really enjoy, it is a good Eisbein. With Sauerkraut of course. But not mash, please. I love potatoes in any form, except mash. Why? I do not know. So… you can serve my dish with potato wedges or chips (fries for my American friends…)
When I prepare an eisbein, or most other meat, I love to BRAAI it (barbeque for all you non Saffas!) in a Weber kettle bbq. When we buy it, it usually is smoked already.
Otherwise- you go to the local filling station and you rub your hands horizontally in front of any petrol attendant. They will then rush behind the station, and come back with a plastic bank bag, filled wit something looking like GRASS. You proceed to smoke it. Purple Turtles start swimming in front of your eyes. When you see the pink elephant, you light the fire. By the time the orange unicorn trots by, the coals are ready. Then you are smoked, and you can bbq (BRAAI) the meat… For all my church elders reading this- I have never tasted grass before…
We are fortunate in that Eisbein can be bought for good prices at our favourite Food Lover’s Market. (about US$ 2.95 or R29.50 per kilo). When you order that in a restaurant, you would expect to pay 4 times that price.
When you light the fire, you also prepare a coffee cup, with woodsmoke shavings poured into water in it- we can buy shavings of oak wine barrels that has been grinded to powder, to use in our Webers.
The Eisbein gets wrapped in tin foil, and put in the middle of the Weber, with two mounts of charcoal to the sides- the indirect cooking method. Some of the wet smoking powder gets put onto the charcoal and the lid stays on. It is very important to have a meat thermometer nearby. After about 2 1/2 hours, you inject the thermometer into the meat, and when the core temperature reaches 80 degrees Celcius, it would be cooked through. You open the tin foil and let it brown off beautifully.
The Germans eat Eisbein with mustard, sauerkraut and mash, and lots of beer. Good people, the Germans… Of course, if you continued to read till here and you are halaal or kosher… you might try it with lamb shanks instead…
In South Africa we all (except the Capies) love PAP- when maize (corn for American friends) gets milled into a powder, and this is prepared with salt and water and love. Onto this we serve a tomato and onion sauce called sheba. Some veggies are fried in olive oil, and served as a side dish. ROunded of with a good Cape wine, like a Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon. Or Slanghoek Camerca… Remember the mustard!
And there you have it- smoked leg of Rider pork… (or lamb…no jihaad today…)
Another recipe that you might try for it, the German way (I just hate peas in any form…) :
Eisbein” is a salt-cured pig knuckle which is simmered for several hours in broth and served with sauerkraut and pureed peas. It is a specialty in Berlin and is a favorite for tourists in restaurants. Because it is simmered, it is not crispy on the outside. Eisbein can be made at home with simple ingredients and great results.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Yield: Variable, 1 hock per person
- ***For Brining***
- 120 grams (1/2 c.) of kosher salt for each liter of water
- 12 grams (1 1/2 tsp.) pink salt or DQ Curing Salt per liter water
- 1000 milliliters of water (about 1 quart)
- Pig knuckles or hocks with rind or skin still attached
- ***For Cooking***
- Use any or all of these ingredients in the simmering broth
- Bay leaf
- Black Pepper
- Juniper berries
- Garlic cloves
Curing the Pork
If you can find fresh pig’s knuckles you will want to cure them before eating. Salt curing them infuses the pork with salt and removes some of the water, concentrating the flavor of the meat. Try a local grocery store with on site butcher services or an ethnic grocery store and order ahead.
If you buy salt cured hocks or knuckles, skip ahead to the next section on cooking them.
To make the brine, use a 12% salt solution by weight. Dissolve 120 grams of kosher salt and 1.2 grams of pink salt per liter of water. Make enough to cover all your pork and chill the water thoroughly before continuing.
Use a non-reactive container to brine (cure) the pork. Plastic, including plastic zip lock bags will work as will any other glass or enamel pans. Place the pork in the container and add the brine to cover. Refrigerate.
Leave the pork in the brine 1 – 5 days in the refrigerator. The longer it sits in the brine, the saltier it will be. If it is in bags, turn over once or twice a day to redistribute the brine.
Cooking the Eisbein
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Rinse the cured pork under running water and place in the boiling water. Bring it back to a boil, remove the scum from the surface, and turn the heat to low.
Add the spices and vegetables for flavor. You can add about one teaspoon of each of the spices, one or two onions or carrots and 2 teaspoons of sugar per liter/quart of cooking water. You will not usually need salt, since the pork will salt the water.
Simmer the pork for 2 to 3 hours. When the rind starts separating from the meat, the pork knuckle is done.
You may choose to crisp the skin (rind) by placing under the broiler for 20 minutes or so, but don’t cook it too long or the skin will be too tough to chew.