We went to a Bavarian restaurant (The Tyrolean Inn) for dinner last night and I had my favorite German dish, Schweinshaxe. It's very tasty stuff if you've never had it. Schweinshaxe is German for pork knuckle or ham hock.
There are different ways of cooking it depending on where you are in Deutschland. Up north they boil it but down south in Bavaria it's braised then baked dry the way I like it best. The first step is to marinade it for about a week in the fridge. Then they cook it till the meat comes clean off the bone like we do pork butt or pulled pork. First a braze in the oven in the marinade then they follow that by a dry bake.
The meat is all up next to the bone and covered by a layer of fat so it's not only sweet and tasty but kept moist by the layer of fat. It occurred to me that it should make a mighty fine dish if someone were to take one of these and pop it in a smoker for a few hours with some hickory and maybe some apple or white oak making the smoke. Has anyone here tried that? I thought I just might give it a spin myself in a couple of weeks. I just gotta go find a couple of good ham hocks to cook up. My favorite butcher can probably fix me up with the ham hocks if I give him some advanced notice. Gotta decide first whether to go with the fore legs or hind legs for the knuckles. It would be a first for me to cook these up myself.