Ham hocks have many names in German: Eisbein”, Hachse, Haxe or Stelze. In Bavaria, they call it Schweinshaxe and cook it in the oven, which turns the skin into a delectable crust.
- 1 large or 2 small, fresh ham hocks, 3-4 lbs.
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. dried sage, chopped fine or rubbed
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 T. shortening
- 1 1/2 c. chicken or beef broth
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 of a celeriac root, or 3 pieces of celery, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 parsley root, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (or parsnip)
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 3/4 c. sour cream
- 2 T. flour
- White wine to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
With a sharp knife, loosen the meat from the bone slightly. Rub the salt, pepper, sage and rosemary all over the outside of the hock. In an oven proof pan or roaster, brown the hock well on all sides. Pour some of the broth over the ham hock and add the vegetables and peppercorns.
Place the pan or roaster in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting with broth every 15 minutes or so. Add more broth if necessary, so the pan doesn’t dry out.
Remove the ham hock and cover with foil to keep warm. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and scrape all the roasted bits from the bottom. Strain the broth and add extra to make 2 cups. Stir the flour into the sour cream and then add the sour cream to the hot broth in the pan. Season to taste with salt, pepper and white wine.
Remove the meat from the bones and serve with the sauce.
Enjoy with potato dumplings and sauerkraut.
Variation: Remove the peppercorns. Blend the vegetables into the broth using a hand blender or potato masher. Add sour cream, flour, salt, pepper and white wine to taste.