Invite Oktoberfest into your home. The perfect time for a Bavarian Pork Roast.
It’s Oktoberfest time, only that the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich won’t open its doors this year due to the worldwide pandemic.
We didn’t want this to deter us from enjoying some Oktoberfest vibes, however, and decided to celebrate with a Bavarian Schweinsbraten or also called Krustenbraten; simply a pork roast with a deliciously crunchy, crackling pork rind.
Most of the necessary ingredients are some we usually have at home already, like onions, carrots, and of course beer – lots of it. The challenge you might run into is to get the right cut of pork, particularly one with the skin on! We found the latter to be quite a challenge.
The perfect cut – Boneless pork shoulder with skin
After calling the best butchers in town, including some from which restaurants purchase their meat, we learned that we could get a hold of a pork shoulder but only with the bone still in and definitely no skin. One of the butchers even told us that unless we knew some independent, smaller butcher personally we will have a hard time finding a pork roast with the skin on. “It’s just not produced that way here and we all more or less buy from the same meat plant or big suppliers”.
Aha! Well, our next call was to a German butcher in town. They had to have what I needed, no?
Unfortunately, they didn’t, at least not on the day I wanted it. The lady however gave me a great tip: “Go try Stater Brother’s. Their party roast”. Really!?
How right she was! Stater Brother’s Party Roast fulfilled at least one crucial part. It’s a pork shoulder with the bone still in but with the skin on. Yay!! My crackling pork rind was saved.
How to get the famous Schweinebratenkruste = crackling pork rind
Now I had my meat and it was time to start preparing our feast.
The easiest way to give your pork roast’s skin the neatly shaped diamond pattern is to cut it after having put the roast upside down, skin first, into a pot of boiling hot water . Keep the water low so that you immerse only the skin and keep it there for about 15 minutes. After that take the meat out, tap it dry with a piece of kitchen paper and you are ready to get to work. Your knife will glide effortlessly through the pork skin to give it the desired diamond pattern.
Preparing for a hearty beer sauce – Use lots of dark beer
To get the yummy beer sauce that tastes so delicious with potato dumplings, have a few bottles of beer ready to use.
After you prepared the pork skin (see above), your roast is ready to be put in the oven. Have the oven preheated to about 350 F, season the pork roast on all sides with salt pepper, sweet paprika and cumin, put it in a roaster, and up it goes into the oven with the prepared pork skin facing up.
After the meat has roasted for about 10 minutes, place the onions, leek and carrots around the roast and add the first bottle of beer. Make sure the liquid is about one to two inches high in your roaster, especially covering all the vegetable. (Burnt onions make the beer sauce bitter!)
Keep the pork roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours while routinely adding more beer to the liquid.
Finally, to get the beer sauce’s smooth consistency, pour the liquid into a strainer once the roast has finished cooking. You will need the help of a fork to mash and push the vegetable mixture through the strainer. And, voilà, there is your savory beer sauce!
Don’t forget the Knödel & Brezen – Potato Dumplings & Pretzels, a MUST
In the meantime prepare the Knödel, the potato dumplings that make your traditional Schweinbraten- pork roast dish authentic. I didn’t make my Knödel from scratch, I have to admit, but used the “Rohe Klösse” mix, usually from Knorr. In this case, I only found it from Kartoffelland.
The last touch is a Bavarian Brezen (pretzel), which can’t be missing from a feast like this. If you are lucky you will have a German store near you that can help you stock up on this Bavarian treat. You can never have enough of this German staple food in your home anyway!
Your Bavarian Oktoberfest Pork Roast is ready. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your feast with a nice cool glass of beer!
Ingredients for the traditional Bavarian Schweinebraten – Pork Roast
- ca. 2 pounds of pork shoulder with skin (preferably without the bone)
- salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and cumin
- 1 onion
- 1 stick of leek
- 1 carrot
- 3-4 bottles of dark beer (what’s not getting used, drink it. Prost!)
Let us know in the comments how your Schweinebraten turned out in case you tried this recipe.
Images: All food images ©CaliforniaGermans; Oktoberfest lettering image©pixabay.com