Experience from the Source
Upon my return from the Czech Republic, the one thing I would bring back is a good beer-induced recipe that would make your American panties wet. I believe I have found a recipe that embodies the flavors of the Czech Republic with the beer-braised Pork Knuckle. My first experience came from the hands of the good people over at U Medvídků. Getting lost between Old Town Square and Charles Bridge, you will stumble across this delicious eatery and beer hall. After devouring stinky beer cheese and two rounds of Budvar, the Czech Counterpart to the Budweiser, I ordered myself the beer-braised pork knuckle. This beast of the dish filled my belly with happiness and enlightenment of the slow-roasted meats of Prague.
If there was one dish that represented my experience in Prague, it would be the beer-braised pork knuckle. Typically served with the house’s beer of choice, this dish is cooked for hours in a stew of beer, potatoes, onions, cabbage, and much more. Unlike U Medvídků, using their house beer Budvar for the braising, I though I would go with another Czech favorite Kozel Světlý or pale lager. Kozel is known more for the Cérny or dark lager, though I thought the light flavors would compliment the savory and salty flavors of the pork knuckle a little better.
The rump is my go to cut of pork for slow-roasting, especially when it comes to carnitas and pulled pork. However, the lovely people of Prague opened up my eyes to a cut of pork that is usually uncommon in southern California markets. The flavors of the light lager complimented the massive amount of salty flavors of the pork knuckle. Perhaps heed my advice about the salt and let the saltiness of the knuckle do its work.
This dish is a culinary representation of my time in the Czech Republic and a must-try recipe.
- Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Finely chop garlic and mix with salt and pepper to create a rub. Rub all over the pork knuckle.
- Chop onions into disks. Grease baking pan and lay a bed of onion disks. Place the pork knuckle on top of the onions, and put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Take the pork knuckle out of oven. Add potatoes (chop to the thickness of your liking) to the baking sheet. Poor 1 cup of beer into the baking pan, basting the knuckle and potatoes with the beer in the process. Place back into oven, reducing heat to 325° Fahrenheit, and cook for an additional 2 hours.
- Take pork knuckle out of oven once more. Pour remaining beer into the baking pan, basting the knuckle. Place back in the oven one more time at 435° Fahrenheit for 30 more minutes.
- Place pork knuckle and potatoes onto a serving plate. Add boiling water to the remain slow-roasted beer juices and cook down until you reach the thick and sticky consistency of a gravy. Pour onto potatoes and pork knuckle. Serve with side of mustard and horse radish.