The crispiest Pork Knuckle German style is a popular traditional Bavarian dish also known as Schweinshaxe. Popular during Oktoberfest and all year round.
A pork hock cooked until golden and crispy on a bed of cauliflower mash and gravy.

What is Schweinshaxe

Schweinshaxe – also known as Bavarian or German Pork Knuckle is my pork-porn coming to life! Haha!

This roasted knuckle of pork with crispy skin and gravy is often found in beer halls and pubs across Germany and Austria. It is also a firm favourite for us Australians too.

This crispy pork knuckle recipe is a revamp of my original recipe published back in 2017. It is an awesome keto-friendly simple dinner. We all love a recipe that takes only a few minutes to prepare, right?

Related Recipe Sweet and Sour Pork / Country Style Boneless Pork Ribs

The Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom of this post for the quantity of each ingredient used in our low carb recipe for German Pork Knuckle.

Pork Knuckle spices and oil on a grey piece of marble.

Pork knuckle – also known as pork hock or ham hock. I ordered mine from the local butcher. At only $7kg it was super cheap. While I have seen some in the local supermarkets, it is always worth asking your butcher for them. Make sure you ask for the pig knuckle, not cured (you don’t want ham hocks).

Spices – I use a traditional combination of caraway seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and juniper berries. All the spices except juniper berries are readily available in the supermarket. If you are a gin lover you will know the distinct pine and peppery flavour of juniper. You can leave it out but is well worth sourcing some online or at good markets.

Pork Knuckle Gravy Ingredients with labels.

Pork Knuckle Gravy

Most roast pork knuckle recipes are served with German beer gravy. Following a low carb, sugar-free lifestyle I wanted to not use dark beer.

If you would prefer to make a beer / bier gravy, then just swap out the Vegemite and 1 cup of stock and use a 375ml bottle of your favourite German dark beer, or Bighead Lager for a low carb version.

While not added to this gravy, you can also add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste and a tablespoon of American yellow mustard. Sounds weird but tastes awesome in gravy. It also is perfect for keto gravy.

Collagen helps to thicken the gravy. You can leave it out if you prefer or you can substitute 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder.

As an additional low-carb gravy thickener, I have used xanthan gum or glucomannan powder. If you prefer, you can just use cornstarch or tapioca powder.

HOT TIP: When making keto gravy if you have over-thickened or it is slimy, just add more liquid and whisk. It really is simple to thin it with extra chicken or beef stock or just water.

How To Make It

Step 1. Place juniper berries, salt flakes, pepper, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle. (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor or blender). Transfer to a small bowl

Step 2. Score pork knuckle with a sharp knife or prick all over with knife. Rub with spices and one tablespoon of oil. Place onto a plate and chill uncovered overnight (image below).

Step 3. Add all gravy ingredients except collagen and xanthan gum to a roasting pan. Position a wire rack over the top and place the pork knuckle into position. Leave to rest while the oven preheats. PREHEAT oven to 150°C fan/170°C static (325°F).

Step 4. Roast the pork knuckle for 3 hours or until it is tender. (You can gently pull a bit of the meat at the base of the knuckle to check). Remove from the oven. Turn oven up to 240°C fan/ 260°C static (500°F). Place pork onto a lined baking tray. Brush with extra oil or vinegar and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Step 5. Strain gravy. Add collagen and xanthan gum (or glucomannan powder). Cook, whisking, until thickened. Strain again if needed.

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Step 6. Serve the roasted schweinshaxe with your favourite mash. I have served it with cauliflower mash. I find it also pairs really well with chimichurri and gremolata.

In the recipe card below, I have given an alternative cooking method. You can cook German pork knuckle in a Thermomix or thermal cooker. Steaming pork knuckles makes it really tender and renders fat. Bake in a very hot oven afterwards helps to crisp the pig skin into the crispiest pork crackle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to buy pork knuckle?

Local butchers are great. If they do not have them they can order in for you.

Can I substitute any other meat?

You can use a beef shin on the bone (baked Thor’s Hammer in the oven), or lamb shanks. If using either of these, just place the piece of meat directly into the gravy. Cook until the meat pulls away from the bone. Then reduce gravy,

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Schweinshaxe on a bed of cauliflower mash with gravy

Pork Knuckle – German Style Schweinshaxe

The crispiest Pork Knuckle German style is a popular traditional Bavarian dish also known as Schweinshaxe. Popular during Oktoberfest and all year round.
4.98 from 148 votes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours 40 minutes
Course: Breakfast Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Bavarian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
Servings: 2 people
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) juniper berries optional
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 (1) pork knuckle see notes (1.25 kg / 2.8 pounds)

GRAVY

  • 1/2 large (1/2 large) onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves (3 cloves) garlic
  • 1 medium (1 medium) carrot roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Vegemite
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) brown sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon collagen
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL (BAKING) METHOD

  • COMBINE – Place juniper berries, salt flakes, pepper, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle. (Alternatively, pulse in a food processor or blender). Transfer to a small bowl
  • PREPARE – Score pork knuckle with a sharp knife or prick all over with knife. Rub with spices and one tablespoon of oil. Place onto a plate and chill uncovered overnight (see notes).
  • PLACE all gravy ingredients except collagen and xanthan gum into a baking dish. Position a wire rack over the top and place the pork knuckle into position. Leave to rest while oven preheats.
  • PREHEAT oven to 150°C fan/170°C static (325°F).
  • BAKE – slow roast pork for 3 hours. Remove pork and gravy from oven. Turn oven up to 240°C fan/ 260°C static (500°F). Place pork onto a lined baking tray. Brush with extra oil or vinegar and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • SERVE – Pour gravy through a sieve into a small saucepan. Discard solids (see notes). Place saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk in collagen and xanthan gum. Whisk until thickened (see notes). Serve roasted pork with gravy and your favourite mash.

THERMAL METHOD

  • COMBINE – Place juniper berries, salt flakes, pepper, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds into mixer; chop 10 sec/speed 10. Pour into a small bowl.
  • PREPARE – Score pork knuckle with a sharp knife or prick all over with knife. Rub with spices and one tablespoon of oil. Place onto a plate and chill uncovered overnight (see notes).
  • STEAM – (or follow from step 3 above). Add 1500 ml of water to mixer bowl. Place pork knuckle into steaming dish and lock into place; cook 90min/steam temp/speed 2. Discard water.
  • PLACE all gravy ingredients into mixer; cook 15 min/110°C/reverse/speed1/cap off. Pour gravy through a sieve and discard solids (see notes). If it needs more time to thicken place it back into the mixer and extend the time.
  • PREHEAT oven to 240°C fan/ 260°C static (500°F). Place pork onto a lined baking tray. Brush with extra oil or vinegar and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve roasted pork with gravy and your favourite mash.

Video

Notes

INGREDIENTS
Pork knuckle – also known as pork hock, pork hand, or ham hock. I ordered mine from the local butcher. At only $7kg it was super cheap. While I have seen some in the local supermarkets, it is always worth asking your butcher for them. Make sure you ask for the pig knuckle, not cured (you don’t want ham hocks).
Spices – I use a traditional combination of caraway seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and juniper berries. All the spices except juniper berries are readily available in the supermarket. If you are a gin lover, you will know the distinct pine and peppery flavour of juniper. You can leave it out, but is well worth sourcing some online or at good markets.
Vegemite – seems super weird to use Australian Vegemite in a German gravy. Trust me it works on so many levels.
HOW TO COOK PORK KNUCKLE
I have included both roasting pork knuckles and how to do it in a Thermomix or thermal cooker. You can braise pork knuckle by cooking it in the liquid. It does make it a bit harder to crisp up the knuckle skin, but it can be done. This schweinshaxe recipe can also be adapted to bake in an air fryer. You will depend on the size and set of the air fryer you have and whether it will fit.
HOW TO COOK PORK KNUCKLE IN A THERMOMIX
I have included how to steam the pork knuckle in the Thermomix. After steaming, you need to dry out the skin and make it crispy. Ensure the pork hock is soft and tender and roast until the skin is crispy and delicious. Run extra oil on the skin and salt well if needed.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SCHWEINSHAXE
Pork knuckle sides can include sauerkraut, braised cabbage, potato dumplings, creamy mash, potato salad (or keto potato salad), a green salad, and pickled red onions. I also love gremolata as well as gravy!
SERVING SIZES
This recipe yields approximately 2 serves. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. 
SERVING SIZE BY WEIGHT
To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 2. The result will be the weight of one serving. 
NUTRITIONAL VALUES
Nutritional values shown are guidelines only. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on the brands and types of ingredients used. 
The recipe card instructions contain the most basic steps and ingredients list.
I use a 15ml tablespoon and 250ml cup for measures. You can use the calculator to convert ounces in a cup if needed. Please note that there is also a conversion from metric to US Customary button under the list of ingredients.

Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1490mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 25mg | Net Carbs: 3g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

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47 responses to “Pork Knuckle German Style (Schweinshaxe)”

  1. Bill S (down under)

    5 stars
    I have been using a number of different recipes try to find one that I am satisfied with. I have finally found that recipe – the aromas in the kitchen were great but the preciseness of temperature, especially for my fanforced oven were perfect and i can see the effectiveness of rubbing the hock and keeping it in the fridge overnight. Overall outcome was perfect.
    Thank you again – it really made my day.

  2. I have a combination steam oven. What temperature, percentage of steam and time would you recommend for the first step in making the knuckle? I will not be making any gravy.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      I am sorry John, I have no experience with a steam oven so I wouldn’t know how to answer this one. If you do try it let us know how it went and any settings for others that may be looking to make it in the same oven.

  3. Jere

    5 stars
    It was the spices in this recipe that intrigued me to make this.The aroma in my kitchen was amazing while the pork was cooking. Love how easy this was to make.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay! So happy you enjoyed it Jere

4.98 from 148 votes (129 ratings without comment)

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