Bavarian Inspired Pulled Pork with German Potato Dumplings Recipe

Pulled pork is taken from the popular Bavarian cut of pork that is the shank or knuckle and served with authentic German potato dumplings and braised cabbage instead of sauerkraut
Pulled pork is taken from the popular Bavarian cut of pork that is the shank or knuckle and served with authentic German potato dumplings and braised cabbage instead of sauerkraut

Pulled pork for many is a dish cooked outdoors on the bbq or grill, long and slow, to ensure the meat is incredibly tender and can literally be pulled gently from the bone. It will frequently be made from a shoulder cut of pork. In this instance, the pulled pork recipe is inspired by the popular Bavarian dish, schweinshaxe, a grilled knuckle of pork which is served whole and usually with a potato accompaniment such as potato dumplings (reiberknödel) and sauerkraut. In Bavaria, the pork knuckle will be cooked on a large form of rotisserie grill to ensure the skin is extra crispy. In this recipe, the pork shank is cooked in the oven and the fatty skin removed and discarded prior to service. The sauerkraut (which takes about six weeks to make from start to finish) is substituted by some cabbage simply braised in a little oil.

A Brief Guide to Traditional Bavarian Schweinshaxe, Potato Dumplings and Sauerkraut

A traditional Bavarian schweinshaxe, as served in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich
A traditional Bavarian schweinshaxe, as served in the Hofbrauhaus in Munich

How About this for a Bargain Rotisserie Grill?

Ronco ST5000PLGEN Showtime Rotisserie Platinum Edition
Ronco ST5000PLGEN Showtime Rotisserie Platinum Edition

If you want to make a truly authentic Bavarian schweinshaxe at home, as you would be served in Munich, you will need a proper rotisserie grill. This stunning model is currently available to buy from Amazon at less than a third of its recommended price! Features include preset temperatures and rotation speed and this purchase comes complete with a non-stick basket, a carving tray, oven gloves and even specific recipe suggestions.

 

Schweinshaxe, potato dumplings and sauerkraut has a special significance for me as it was the first meal I ever ate - a number of years ago now - in Munich. There have been very few of my many trips since where I haven't enjoyed the dish at least once. You will find schweinshaxe served in traditional Bavarian restaurants, tourist hot spots such as the Hofbräuhaus and other large beer halls, as well as - of course - at the world famous event that is Oktoberfest, every late September/early October. The size of the pork knuckle and the price you are charged will vary hugely, with popular tourist venues often representing the least value for money. It is more than worth, therefore, if you do want to sample this dish in Munich, looking at some of the smaller restaurants and cafes, where you will often see the pork prominently displayed as it grills.

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A markerMunich, Bavaria, Germany -
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B markerBerlin, Germany -
Berlin, Germany
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List of Ingredients

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A pork shank of this size should provide enough pulled pork meat for two generous servingsPotato is peeled and chopped in to large chunks for cookingCabbage is sliced for braising
A pork shank of this size should provide enough pulled pork meat for two generous servings
A pork shank of this size should provide enough pulled pork meat for two generous servings
Potato is peeled and chopped in to large chunks for cooking
Potato is peeled and chopped in to large chunks for cooking
Cabbage is sliced for braising
Cabbage is sliced for braising

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 45 min
  • Cook time: 4 hours 15 min
  • Ready in: 5 hours
  • Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 1 3lb pork shank
  • 1lb (gross weight) baking potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp farina (semolina) flour
  • 1 small egg
  • Generous pinch ground nutmeg
  • ¼ white cabbage, sliced with core removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • BBQ sauce to serve
  • 2 tsp chopped chives to garnish

Preparation and Cooking Instructions

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Pork shank is laid on ovenproof tray and seasonedPork shank is covered with foil for roastingCooked potatoes are left to steam and dry for a few minutesPotatoes are carefully mashedCooked pork has to be left to restMixing the ingredients for the German potato dumplingsPoaching the potato dumplingsTwo forks are used to pull the pork from the bonesPulled pork removed from clean bonesPotato dumplings are given a couple of minutes to steam and dry before they are plated
Pork shank is laid on ovenproof tray and seasoned
Pork shank is laid on ovenproof tray and seasoned
Pork shank is covered with foil for roasting
Pork shank is covered with foil for roasting
Cooked potatoes are left to steam and dry for a few minutes
Cooked potatoes are left to steam and dry for a few minutes
Potatoes are carefully mashed
Potatoes are carefully mashed
Cooked pork has to be left to rest
Cooked pork has to be left to rest
Mixing the ingredients for the German potato dumplings
Mixing the ingredients for the German potato dumplings
Poaching the potato dumplings
Poaching the potato dumplings
Two forks are used to pull the pork from the bones
Two forks are used to pull the pork from the bones
Pulled pork removed from clean bones
Pulled pork removed from clean bones
Potato dumplings are given a couple of minutes to steam and dry before they are plated
Potato dumplings are given a couple of minutes to steam and dry before they are plated
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 350F/170C.
  2. Lay the pork knuckle in an ovenproof dish and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour a little water in to the dish, just enough to comfortably cover the base.
  3. Cover the dish securely but loosely with tinfoil and place it in to your oven for four hours.
  4. When the pork is in the oven, add the peeled and roughly chopped potato to a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a simmer until the potatoes are soft. This should take about twenty-five minutes.
  5. Drain the potatoes through a colander and return them to the hot, empty pot to steam for a few minutes. This allows a lot of the moisture to escape and prevents the mash being too wet. Mash the potatoes, cover and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Take the pork from the oven and very carefully remove the foil. Check the pork is fully cooked by piercing the thickest part with a metal skewer. The skewer should penetrate right to the bone with minimal resistance and the juices should run clear. Cover again loosely with the foil and leave to rest for half an hour.
  7. While the pork is resting, put the mashed potato, flours, egg and nutmeg in to a large bowl. Season with salt and stir well to combine. If it is overly sticky, you can add a very little more flour but be careful not to add too much.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and divide the dumpling mix in to four equal portions. Lightly flour your hands and roll the dumplings in to balls. They should each be slightly larger than a golf ball.
  9. Lay the dumplings gently in to the water and reduce the heat to have the water gently simmering. The dumplings will take about ten to fifteen minutes to cook and you will know they are ready when they float on top of the water.
  10. Gently heat the vegetable oil in a pot and add the cabbage. Season with salt and sautee gently for about seven or eight minutes until the cabbage is just soft.
  11. Lift the pork to a plate. Remove and discard the skin and excess fat. Take two forks, one in each hand, and tease the meat from the bones. You should be left with two perfectly clean bones.
  12. Lift the potato dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon to a plate. Let them steam and dry for just a couple of minutes.

Plating Up and Serving Your Meal

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Pulled pork, potato dumplings and cabbage are arranged on serving plateChopped chives garnish the potato dumplings and cabbageBBQ sauce is an optional addition at the side of the pulled pork
Pulled pork, potato dumplings and cabbage are arranged on serving plate
Pulled pork, potato dumplings and cabbage are arranged on serving plate
Chopped chives garnish the potato dumplings and cabbage
Chopped chives garnish the potato dumplings and cabbage
BBQ sauce is an optional addition at the side of the pulled pork
BBQ sauce is an optional addition at the side of the pulled pork
  1. Divide the pork and cabbage evenly between two serving plates and lay two potato dumplings alongside in each instance.
  2. Scatter the chopped chives over the potato dumplings and cabbage.
  3. Add the BBQ sauce to the pork if desired.
  4. Your meals are now ready for immediate service.

Guten appetit! - as they say in Bavaria...

Why Not Enjoy an Authentic Bavarian Beer with Your Meal?

In the photo further up this page, the schweinshaxe meal was served and very much enjoyed with a maβ (litre) of Bavarian helles beer, similar in some ways to American beer or British lager (though usually much stronger in terms of ABV!) In this instance, the pulled pork and German dumplings meal is served with weissbier (wheat beer) and very enjoyable it was, too.

An authentic Bavarian weissbier is an excellent accompaniment to this pulled pork, German potato dumplings and braised cabbage dish
An authentic Bavarian weissbier is an excellent accompaniment to this pulled pork, German potato dumplings and braised cabbage dish

Thank You for Visiting - I Hope You Liked this Recipe Idea

5 stars from 3 ratings of this alternative pulled pork and potato dumplings recipe

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2 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Laurasmother and thank you. It is good to have German acknowledgement and approval for this very much German inspired dish.


Laurasmother 4 years ago from Europe

I like your recipe, I come from Germany.

Greatings, Laurasmother

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