German country style pork hocks baked with wine packed sauerkraut!
Country style food is a recurring theme in every cuisine around the globe. Country style food tends to be hearty simple food that is preferred by people that do physical hard work for a living. Germany offers great country style recipes at home and abroad. German Americans in Pennsylvania are famous for cooking large family style meals of old fashioned German country style food. During an ice cold Pennsylvania winter, a big meal of German country food that sticks to the ribs is welcome sight!
Many big city folk pretend to be too classy to bother with simple country fair and many city folk get caught up in the latest "self image" food trends. For example: Biff eats meat once a day. Biff is fond of Buffy the outspoken vegetarian. Buffy has convinced everyone in her social circle that being vegetarian is the right thing to do, because poor little farm animals have feelings that might be hurt. Biff fears rejection from Buffy and her social circle, so Biff becomes a vegetarian to boost his self image within their social circle. Of course, Biff later loses face within Buffy's social circle, because he was caught red handed chewing on a greasy cheeseburger at a fast food joint!
Self image should not be a deciding factor for a change of diet. There are better reasons to become a vegetarian and a person of free will can become a vegetarian for no reason at all. I personally shift back and forth with what I eat and I consider my diet to be one of an earthy balanced omnivore. Many food authorities say that an omnivorous diet of a wide variety of food is healthier than a restricted diet that depends on only eating a small limited group of food choices repeatedly with no variation.
For years, oils were promoted as being healthier than natural meat fats and now top nutritionists admit that moderate levels of natural meat fats are beneficial. Over the years, I have noticed that false misleading nutritional claims by authorities coincide with marketing ploys of the food industry. The last ten years have been led by outspoken vegetarians that try to pressure people to become vegan. During the last ten years, genetically modified vegetables have been marketed under the radar. Is it just a coincidence?
Natural heirloom vegetables and overlooked exotic wild food that are not modified in a dark laboratory are worth looking into. To say that every vegetable in a common modern grocery store is a healthy food choice is not wise. The Germans know this well, because they have taken action to ban genetically modified vegetables due to health and environmental factors. Several other nations have taken the same course of action.
During the last ten years red meats have once again been promoted as the enemy of health by the pay for play media and by the public sheep in a trickle down effect. That has not stopped those who could care less about the misleading anti meat eating propaganda from enjoying a good steak on a Saturday night. The overall life expectancy of every human being on the planet has still continued to increase.
Vegans that honestly choose to be vegan will have to be wiser when choosing vegetables in the future. Those who feel sorry for a poor little plant's feelings will continue to eat meat and that is okay too. Moderation of how much meat is consumed is a key to health. Increasing the variety of food in a diet to include exotic meats, vegetables and fruits on a regular basis rather than to be restricted to only a few different food items is another key to health. Understanding seasonal food and food with medicinal qualities is yet another key to health. Variety is more than just the spice of life!
Where does German food fit in with the opinions conveyed in the last few paragraphs? Modern Germans are very aware of food and health. Modern Germans are some of the most health conscious people that there is. Very little is written about modern German cuisine outside of Germany. Some of the highest quality crafted trendy health cuisine with impeccable presentations has been the marquis of fine German cuisine for the last ten years.
Stodgy French chefs, American chefs and food writers that depend on stereotypical imagery are quick to put down modern English and German cuisine. Many teachers at the French chef school that I attend in America are guilty of this folly of ignorance. The world changes and so do cuisines of the world. English and German meat and fat rich cuisine has been slandered for many years. Many of those who use slanderous culinary tactics are not aware of how healthy and progressive the modern English and German cuisines have recently become.
Traditional old rich food is still cooked with pride in England and Germany, but the portions of rich food have been reduced to healthier levels and modern healthier cutting edge cuisine has provided dietary balance with a flair for creativity! Negative stereotypical opinions from chefs and food writers about modern English and German food should be ignored. Take a look at the food that the top chefs of those two countries cook and you will be leveled with awe!
After writing about the modern German healthy cuisine trend, what new recipe did I post in this food blog? I cooked an old fashioned traditional German country style recipe! Nothing savvy, nothing new, except the thinly cut pork hock portions are much smaller than German pork hock portions of the past! That is part of the modern trend of healthy dietary balance.
The health benefits of eating sauerkraut is well known. Sauerkraut helps to fight off colds and influenza, just like Korean cabbage kimchi does. Wine packed sauerkraut is not salty or sweet. It has a very gentle agreeable flavor. A german delicatessen, that I worked in many years ago, only served wine packed sauerkraut. Wine packed sauerkraut is usually sold in glass jars and the juice in the jar tastes good enough to flavor other German recipes. The German chef at that delicatessen never wasted a drop of the wine packed sauerkraut juice!
Schweinshaxe und Weinsauerkraut Recipe:
Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
Add 1/2 slice of smoked bacon that coarsely chopped.
Saute the bacon, till a small amount of grease is rendered and till the bacon starts to become crisp.
Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of wine packed sauerkraut with its own juices. (Wine packed sauerkraut does not need to be rinsed twice with water like regular sauerkraut!)
Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add about 6 pieces of carrot that are 1" long.
Simmer the wine packed sauerkraut mixture till it becomes hot.
Place the sauerkraut mixture into a shallow casserole dish. Try to mound the sauerkraut and expose the carrot pieces on the surface.
Place 2 fresh pork hocks that weigh 5 or 6 ounces apiece on top of the mounded sauerkraut. (The pork hocks should not be cured or smoked for this recipe. Twelve ounces sounds like a lot of pork hocks, but pork hocks are about 50% bone.)
Place 1 slice of bermuda onion on top of each pork hock.
Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Place 1 pat of unsalted butter on top of the slice of onion on each pork hock.
Sprinkle 1 pinch of marjoram over each pork hock.
Bake uncovered in a 300 degree oven, till the pork hocks become fully cooked and till the onion and pork hock become lightly browned. (About 30 to 40 minutes)
Place the Schweinshaxe und Weinsauerkraut casserole dish on a serving plate.
Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
Serve with a potato of your choice on the side and a German bread of your choice.
A nice simple German country style recipe! The juices from roasted pork hocks add a lot of flavor to the gentle tasting weinsauerkraut. Yum! ... Shawna