Schweinshaxe: A Hearty Bavarian Ham Hock Dinner

Bavarian ham hocks recipe

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

  • Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 to 2 Ham Hocks (4 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
275 Calories
16g Fat
28g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2 Ham Hocks (4 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 858mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 7g
Calcium 147mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

On a cold winter night, hearty meat and vegetable dishes roasted in the oven are most appealing. Ham hocks are one such meal. They have many names in German: "eisbein”, " hachse," "haxe" or " stelze." In Bavaria, they call this dish "schweinshaxe" and cook it in the oven, which turns the skin into a delectable crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) fresh ham hocks (can be 1 large one or 2 small ones)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage (finely chopped or rubbed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or beef broth)
  • 1 onion (peeled and cut into quarters)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 of a celeriac root (or 3 pieces of celery, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 parsley root (or parsnip, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • White wine (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredient for Bavarian ham hocks
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  3. With a sharp knife, slightly loosen the meat from the bone.

    Slightly loosen meat
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  4. Rub the salt, pepper, sage, and rosemary all over the outside of the hock.

    Salt, pepper, sage, rosemary
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  5. In an oven-proof pan or roaster, add the shortening and brown the ham hock well on all sides.

    Add shortening
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  6. Pour some of the broth over the ham hock and add the onions, carrots, celeriac root or celery, and parsley root or parsnip, and the peppercorns. 

    Pour broth over ham hock
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  7. Place the pan or roaster in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting with broth every 15 minutes or so. Add more broth, if necessary, so the pan doesn’t dry out.

    Place pan in oven
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  8. Remove the ham hock and vegetables and cover with foil to keep warm.

    Remove ham hock
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  9. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and scrape all the roasted bits from the bottom.

    Place roasting pan on medium heat
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  10. Strain the broth and add extra to make 2 cups.

    Strain the broth
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  11. Stir the flour into the sour cream and then add the sour cream to the hot broth in the pan.

    Stir the flour
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  12. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and white wine.

    Season to taste
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  13. Remove the meat from the bones and serve with the sauce.

    Remove the meat
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  14. Enjoy!

    Enjoy Bavarian ham hocks
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Variation

  • Remove the peppercorns when the ham is roasted. Blend the vegetables into the broth using a hand blender or potato masher. Add the sour cream, flour, salt, pepper and white wine to taste.

Serving Suggestions

  • Potato dumplings and sauerkraut are authentic sides for the German meal.

  • If you'd like a German-American combo, mashed potatoes make a delicious pairing with ham hocks and would also be good with the sauce.

  • Serve with a hot green vegetable like broccoli or green beans to round out the meal.

  • With ham, you can serve red or white wine, whichever you prefer. Chardonnay and pinot noir both make a great pairing with schweinshaxe.