10/06/2010 06:06:00 PM


Woo-hoo! The warmer weather is here!  How lovely was Sunday?  (That is, the Sunday after the first warm Sunday of the year).  We had our first barbecue of the season!  It was originally planned as a quiet Sunday lunch, but developed into a rather epic barbecue luncheon, affectionately titled: PORKTOBERFEST. 

I arrived at PORKTOBERFEST in a rather circuitous fashion, so let me explain.

After I got Nigella's Kitchen, one of the most enticing recipes was the beer-braised pork knuckles with caraway, garlic, apples and potatoes.  I know, right?  Nigella prefaces the recipe with a 2-page explanation of her love of German food, and the German language!  She singles out Bienenstich cake as "confectionary of the gods".  Bienenstich, you may remember, is my favourite German cake.  Her love of it just proves how much Nigella rocks.

Now, pork knuckle isn't the type of thing one should eat alone, (believe me, I've tried!), so I thought it would be a good dish to make for friends, and the "pork-knuckle lunch" was born.  After we'd invited everyone, I also realised that we'd organised our pork-knuckle lunch for the first Sunday in October... which is traditionally the end of Oktoberfest!  So the pork-knuckle lunch morphed into Oktoberfest.

Last week, encouraged by the lovely warmer weather, we also bought a barbecue!  It's a very cute little Weber Smokey Joe Grill, and I love it!  It's aimed at young people who've just moved out of home - perfect!  The Oktoberfest party seemed to be the perfect opportunity to break out the new BBQ, so on Saturday we drove down to Andrew's in Yarraville and bought a crazy amount of sausages.  (Free-range Otway pork knuckles were purchased across the street at Yarraville Village Butcher).  And thus, Oktoberfest became PORKTOBERFEST.

PORKTOBERFEST for 6 Hungry People

Beer-braised Pork Knuckles with Caraway, Garlic and Apples
Sausages - Cheese Kranskys, Bratwurst, Cumberland chipolatas
Mashed Potatoes
Scharfer Senf, Ketchup

Iced Coffee

Old-Fashioned Cheesecake

The recipes for the both cheesecake and the knuckles come from Kitchen, of course.  I'll do a separate post about the cheesecake soon, as I feel this post is already getting dangerously long!  The pork itself wasn't too difficult - you just rub it with garlic, caraway and salt, and chuck it in the oven.  (The butcher did the tough job of scoring the rind).  It only takes about 3 hours in total, so it wasn't too bad getting up in the late morning to get started.  Too easy!

I tried standing them up like in the book, but the knuckles didn't have a flat base so they just fell over, and I roasted them on their sides.  In the tin along with the hocks are apple slices, onions and beer.  Nigella suggests adding potatoes, but I wanted mash so I skipped them.  And now, looking back at the photos, I realise that potatoes wouldn't have fit in the tin anyway.

Midway through roasting, time to baste the hocks again!
While the pork was cooking, there was heaps of time to clean up the house, make the mash and red cabbage, and prepare the drinks.
BIER (and Gin)... and limes!
Mojito station!  Not exactly German, but a perfect BBQ drink nonetheless.
Mojito Station
Sandra was in charge of the BBQ, which was a good thing as I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near open fires!  We had cheese kranskys, Bratwurst and cumberland chipolatas.

Barbecueing sausages on Weber Smokey Joe Grill. How cute is the BBQ!!

One of the great things about roasting pork is that your whole house smells delicious, and your friends will invariably drift towards the pork...
We want pork...!
Pretty.  I've never cooked pork knuckle before, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  The only issue was that unlike pork shoulder or leg, I was unable to pull off the rind and put it back in the oven for proper crispening.  This meant that there wasn't a lot of nice crackling for us, although it was probably for the best.

Carving - Wusthof Carving Knife & Fork RULE!

Below we have the roasted apples (like applesauce but easier), and the fabulicious oniony pan juices.
Onion gravy... roasted apples
You know, I was expecting leftovers - there were 6 of us, and the knuckle alone was meant to be enough for 6 people - but somehow, sitting around and laughing and talking, we somehow ate ALL the meat and ALL the sausages.  Oops.  What can I say?  My friends must really love sausages. Heh.

After a bit of a rest, some more drinks, a lot of laughs and doing the dishes, we hunkered down for dessert.  First up - iced coffee!
Making ice coffee

We brewed a big pot of coffee in the morning and let it cool down.  To the cold coffee we added Baileys, milk and vanilla ice-cream, for some cold-and-creamy refreshment.

Baileys Iced Coffee

And then cheesecake... (only in tiny slices because we'd really had quite a large lunch and I'm sure everyone was just being polite...)

All in all it was a fabulous, fabulous afternoon! Big thanks to my friends Alae, Sophia, Tim and SuSu for wonderful company and supplying the German beer!  Shall we make PORKTOBERFEST a yearly tradition?

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  1. Your bbq is so cute!! you'll get lots of use out of it soon, especially now that it is starting to warm up

  2. Annual porktoberfest? Bring it on!

  3. Hehehe Porktoberfest sounds awesome :) Loooove pork knuckle but have never cooked it myself. In Sydney I used to have it ALL the time from a German pub called the Lowenbrau :)

  4. OMG I want to be invited.

    Next Oktoberfest you should consider hiring a live German Band or Polka Band to take it to the next level.

    Let us know if we can help:!.aspx


  5. Porktoberfest sounds like my kind of celebration in October since I don't drink beer! :P

    That BBQ is cute and very handy! Hope we get a lot of nice weather days so you can use it!

  6. Things I love about this post:

    1) PORKTOBERFEST. I'm a sucker for wordplay.

    2) The fact that the pork knuckles inthe first photo looks like spaceships from Battlestar Galactica or Firefly.

    3) Cheesecake. Always and forever.

  7. Oh! GREAT! Please invite me next time?

  8. mmm, wish i was there, love a pork feast anytime!

  9. Oh ggaaawwwd! The layer of fat is just so...just so... *sorry catching my drool*

    Can you make this in our pot luck? Um...soon!

  10. Shut. The. Front. Door.
    You ROCK!!!

    (Hm, do I smell the smoke of the Kitchen project growing thicker?)
    L. xoxo

  11. @My Restaurants Melbourne - Isn't it gorgeous? I want to do baked clams in there next. :)

    @Celeste - Yay!

    @Catty - Oh, I know of Lowenbrau! Read about it heaps on Grab Your Fork and Chocolate Suze. Their knuckle had more crackling than mine, jealous.

    @Drew - Awesome! I want to buy a dirndl too but I've been forbidden, hahaha.

    @April - Did you know in Munich for Oktoberfest they have HEAPS of food as well as the beer? Like chickens on spits, pork knuckle, sausages (of course) and more!

    @Hannah - Yay, you picked up that PORKTOBERFEST has to be in capitals! Hehe, I never picked up that the knuckles look like spaceships. Extra awesome!

    And I am soooo with you on cheesecake. :)

    @Penny - Sure thing! I gotta improve my pork knuckle skills, but I can do a mean pork shoulder! :D

    @Ange - I agree with you 100%!

    xox Sarah

  12. Oh my goodness - my pork knuckles were amazing. I uploaded some pictures to my blog. Thanks for your review - they really inspired me to have a go with the recipe

  13. You are awesome...can I come to the next one? BTW - Otway pork is only bred free range :(

  14. Nicola - Good for you! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

    Elizabeth - Judging by the response, I might have to sell tickets to the next PORKTOBERFEST, hehe. I've heard that a few times about Otway Pork, but no-one seems to be able to tell me anything more, or why it's bad. More info please! :)

    xox Sarah

  15. information well and good ... I like your way of thinking.
    Thanks for sharing

  16. That bone and some beans would make good soup!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.