I was introduced to eisbein by my mother-in-law. Since my father-in-law was a German eisbein featured often on their menu. It was always served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.
My mother-in-law always cooked the eisbein and the skin was left soft. I always felt a bit overwhelmed by the size of the eisbein since it was customary to serve a whole eisbein per person. We normally share the eisbeins, when I cook them, unless I can find small pieces.
I prefer to glaze eisbeins and roast it in the oven to make the skin crisp, like I do with gammon.
The name eisbein (ice leg) comes from the time when these parts of the pig’s bone were used to make ice skates.
The eisbein ready to be cooked:
- 4 smoked pork hocks
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 12 whole cloves
- 90ml soft brown sugar
- 6 bay leaves
- freshly grounded black pepper
- 60ml Dijon mustard
- 60ml honey
- 60ml melted butter
- Put the pork hocks in a large pot.
- Stud the halved onions with the cloves and add to the pot, with the brown sugar, bayleaves and black pepper.
- Cover the hocks with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 90 to 120 minutes or until the meat is very soft.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220⁰C.
- Remove the pork from the pot and place onto a roasting tin.
- Mix the mustard, honey and melted butter and brush over the pork.
- Roast in the pre-heated oven until the skin is crisp.
- Serve with baked or mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.