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OK, here is a recipe for "baked pork knee"

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Europe
Forum Name: Central Europe
Forum Discription: Poland, The Czech Republic and Slovakia
Printed Date: 15 August 2022 at 07:05

Topic: OK, here is a recipe for "baked pork knee"
Posted By: miro
Subject: OK, here is a recipe for "baked pork knee"
Date Posted: 23 July 2014 at 17:07
NOTE - Scroll down for photos!

"Pečené bravčové koleno"

We Slovaks were not rich folks and thus we've tried to do something from nothing. And it was great, these old fashion recipes.

OK, you are not going to get recipe with pictures, etc. I may eventually get there.

The story is, we must have been poorer that dirt. Not really but that's a different story :). When I was coming back to Slovakia, they always wanted to go to a restaurant serving baked pork knee. It made me wonder, and we went a few time and I am a convert!

It's tender, tasty, but most folks treat it as it's a throw away part of pig. It's NOT, it's one of the most delicious part of pig!

OK, so here is how you do it (no pictures just description).

Get a few pigs knees (it's usually one per person but you have to be a big eater so scale down if you are not).

Put it in a big pot and boil it with some onion, garlic, and salt. Here is my twist, I like it spicy and I use some cayenne pepper as well.

Boil for some hour or so until it's soft. Take it out cut the skin in zigzag way.

Put it into Owen, use some pork lard (olive oil would do in these days) Throw some more spice based on what you like but do not go overboard. Simple does it.

Bake it for some hour or so at 350 Fh degrees until skin is crispy and meat is soft.

Serve it with good bread, horseradish, some folks like sauerkraut with it. Be my guest and let your imagination run wild.

It's really good, simple old fashion cheep food, as some folks go for best "fancy pork cuts!" Just kidding :)

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 July 2014 at 23:59
This sounds delicious, Miro; thank you for sharing it.

One thing I love about Slovak cooking is the way simple foods from the land ("peasant" foods) are prepared simply but with amazing flavour and "comfort factor." I read your description of this recipe and I immediately think of home cooking in a small rural village, much like the one where my wife's ancestors lived, or my own German Schwarzmeerdeutsche ancestors in Ukraine.

I'll have to try this, perhaps accompanied by Tomas's - zemiakové placky - we do not have pork knee available around here that I am aware of, but we do have either pork hocks or shoulder roast (from the lower shoulder, called the picnic roast) and perhaps these will serve as good substitutes.

Thanks again, Miro! Beer

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Posted By: gonefishin
Date Posted: 24 July 2014 at 10:11
   great story, and recipe...miro!  Thanks for sharing.  We'll have to ask for the pigs knees on the fall pig we're getting.

   Thanks a ton!

Enjoy The Food!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 24 July 2014 at 22:32
Miro - I'd really like to give this a try ~

I have a question about the boiling of the pork knees: in about how much water should they be simmered? Enough to cover the pork, or perhaps more or less? Also, I'm guessing that the leftover broth after boiling would be really tasty. Is it normally used for gravy or perhaps a sauce?

Looking forward to trying this, one way or the other!

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Posted By: miro
Date Posted: 27 July 2014 at 20:35
Good for you Ron. Yep, it's about right cut though usually it's not all the way to hock, I would say its somewhere in  middle between knee and hock, as in lower part there is not much meat. Oh BTW you asked how much water to use, it really does not matter as far as knee is cover in water, if you use more, more does not hurt it.However you say that you may use it to make some gravy. I did not try it but it should work. If you use too much water then you should probably reduce it to get thicker consistency.

Good luck and I'll be waiting how it came out!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 12 October 2016 at 14:42
Pečené Bravčové Koleno
Roasted Pig Knees

I made this dish about a year ago, and did manage to get some photos. Once again, they are from my iPod, so they are not great photos, but you can certainly get the idea, and see how tasty this humble Slovak dish really is!

I dedicate this post to Miro, who took the time to share it with us and introduced me to yet another wonderful reason why I love the food that comes from the ancestral land of The Beautiful Mrs. Tas. Thank you, Miro!

Here are our “pig knees,” along with a few simple ingredients that make a wonderful Slovak meal:

The pig’s knee is a bit of a unique cut, and my impression is that it is not a common one in American markets. It is the knuckle below the leg, yet above the hock; an excellent source of good meat with a lot of connective tissue that melts into some real good eats, much the same as it does for a shoulder or rib cut. If you count on one per person, you should be alright, but big eaters might require two knees.

Prep work, as you can see, is very easy:

As Miro says, you can certainly improvise here, to your individual taste. Add a hot pepper or two, or perhaps a little extra garlic; or pepper, or what have you. Measurements are not terribly important, as is so often the case in “Grandma cooking.” You can keep the additions “true” to Slovak or Eastern European cuisine, or not. Since I am a bit of a traditionalist, I kept it pretty simple; salt, pepper, bay leaf, marjoram, onion and garlic worked for me. I considered some paprika and a couple of hot peppers, but decided not to, in the end. Other possibilities might include caraway, savory, thyme...really, you can add what you want, but like Miro says, "simple does it!"

Here we are, all set to simmer for a while:

After this photo was taken, I put just enough water in the Dutch oven to cover the pig knees, then brought it to a boil. I then reduced the heat to a simmer, and let it go for a little over an hour, partially-covered.

At this point, I removed the pig knees from the broth and prepared them for the oven. I did not have to score the skin, because there was none on the knees; this is too bad, because as we all know, oven-roasted pig skin is a wonderful, crispy treat, a welcome sight at any Slovak table.

Here they are, looking beautiful!

Anyway, I had no home-rendered lard to rub onto the pig knees, but I did have some bacon fat left over from that morning’s breakfast; I rubbed it onto the pig knees, then seasoned them a bit with some more of the same aromatics that I used before: salt, pepper, bay leaf, marjoram, onion and garlic.

I then baked the pig knees for about 75 minutes at 350 degrees; meanwhile, I turned my attention to my side dishes. I wanted to keep them simple and rustic, just some green beans and some rice; but for the rice, I wanted to add a little something extra, and thanks to my oldest son, Josef, I had just the thing.

On a recent trip to Seattle, Joe brought home something that he thought I would like, and he was right!

These roasted, lightly-pickled strips of red pepper seemed like a great addition to the rice, especially considering that I have seen many, many references to pickled peppers in Central-and Eastern-European cuisine.

My side dishes were finished just in time for the pig knees to be ready:

These are looking pretty good, if you ask me!

As usual, the family was hungry and eagerly ready to be a guinea pig for yet another one of my projects, so I served up their meal:

I’ve never been to Slovakia myself, but I would like to think that this plate of food would be familiar and welcome there.

With great optimism, we started our meal, and enjoyed it very much. The pork was tender, juicy and well-seasoned, with the rendered fats and connective tissues adding much to the texture and flavour. I truly liked this, and could see the possibilities with other similar, “cheap” cuts such as spare ribs, country-style ribs, neck bones and so forth. The slow simmering followed by the roasting ensures a tenderness that will be savored, while the simple-yet-effective seasoning enhances the pork allowing it to shine nicely on its own.

The rice turned out very well, too; I could have used some form of potato - or perhaps dumplings or noodles - but the rice, especially with the addition of the pepper slices, was really nice. Cabbage, Sauerkraut, kohlrabi or some other vegetable would have worked well, too, in place of the green beans; along with some tomatoes or especially mushrooms. In reality, peasant food is about what you have and what you love, so use it!

If you’d like to experience some truly rustic, home-style food from a special part of the world, this is the way to do it. In addition, this meal should fit well - with only only slight local adaptations - in any Slavic-themed meal from Central or Eastern Europe. Side dishes or some seasonings might need a tweak here and there, but the fundamentals remain.

Humble, satisfying and delicious - this one is worth a try, for sure. My thanks again to Miro for sharing it with us, and my hearty recommendation to you all.

Dobrú Chuť!


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Posted By: Hoser
Date Posted: 13 October 2016 at 01:44
Outstanding looking meal Ron...I'm guessing the only way you got the knees was by having your own hog butchered to your liking? I have never seen them in any market anywhere.

Go with your food!

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 13 October 2016 at 08:39
Hey, Dave - thanks for taking a look!

With this particular meal, I contacted our local butcher ( - Bear Paw Meats ), and talked directly to Ashley. She had been of great assistance in the past, getting me exactly what I needed whenever I was buying pork belly for my - Black Forest Maple Bacon projects ; the family has also been very helpful with many other projects, and they are my go-to local butcher, although we do have some other outstanding ones in the area. In any case, I told her what I needed and asked her if she would make sure I get them the next time they were processing pork. She said "no problem," and got them for me. As I recall, all of the meat there was around four or possibly dollars - not too bad!

Having said that, I do believe that this method would work just as well with similar cuts of meat that we would normally think of as "fatty" or "tough." Spare ribs, chunks of shoulder, belly, country-style ribs and large hocks would work just as well, I would say. If for some reason you were having any trouble getting the knuckle between the bottom of the shoulder/ham and the hock, I'd say that any of these alternatives would work just as well.

If you give this a shot, let us know how it goes!

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