Schweinekrustenbraten (Roast Pork Shoulder)
Schweinekrustenbraten literally translates to “pork roast with a crust,” and is a staple of Bavarian cuisine. Schweinekrustenbraten is often found in beer halls, served with roast vegetables, potato dumplings or spaetzle, and sauerkraut. It’s particularly popular during Oktoberfest (the annual, weeks-long Bavarian festival that draws millions), when cooler days call for heart-warming dishes. The pork joint (typically the shoulder) is seasoned with a paste made from paprika, mustard and caraway seeds.
Cooking Schweinekrustenbraten in an Ooni oven is simple, thanks to Bavarian grill enthusiast Dominic Stettner (@dominic.stettner), who brought this delicious Ooni recipe to life. All you need is a deep stainless steel baking dish (that can sustain temperatures of 200°C / 392°F), tin foil, and a wired meat thermometer to ensure the meat is cooked thoroughly. After a sear on both sides, the cut is slow-cooked atop a bed of seasonal root vegetables, which infuse with the juices, stock, and dark beer as they cook. Later, the vegetables and juices are blended to make a beautifully rich sauce. The crispy pork rind is cooked last, and requires a strong lick of flames which caramelise the fat. Carve with your sharpest knife and serve with sauce and vegetables—washed down with a tankard of Bavarian beer! This dish should be enjoyed all year round, but it's especially apt to warm the cockles in the colder fall and winter months, and makes a great alternative to traditional beef or chicken roasts.
Serves 2 to 4 as a main
Total time: 3 hours
900 gram boneless pork shoulder
Coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
125 grams salted butter
1 red onion, cubed
200 grams potatoes, cubed
1 large parsnip, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
5 juniper berries
250 grams vegetable stock
500 grams dark beer/ malt beer
2 tablespoons sour cream
Fire up your Ooni oven and preheat to 200°C (392°F)
Cooking with charcoal: fire up with just charcoal (10 lumps roughly) or aim for a very low flame.
Cooking with propane: preheat on a medium to low flame for 15 minutes
Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern into the rind of the pork and rub about 10 grams of sea salt into the fat.
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, caraway, paprika and mustard to form a paste.
Place the stainless steel baking dish into your Ooni with the butter to preheat. Once the butter starts bubbling, sear the meat for 15 minutes on each side, aiming for a consistent temperature in the oven of 200°C (392°F).
Remove the pan and brush the meat with the paste, excluding the rind (fat cap). Place the vegetables, juniper berries, and meat (rind side up) back into the pan and add the stock and beer. Wire the joint to the meat thermometer and close the pan tightly with two layers of aluminum foil.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 150°C (302°F)
If cooking with charcoal: close the chimney baffle to keep the flame low, and check the stone temperature every 10 minutes. If the temperature drops, add another lump of charcoal.
If cooking with gas: place the meat in the oven and turn the flame to its lowest setting (or even off completely), and rely on residual heat. Check the stone every 10 minutes to ensure the temperature doesn’t drop or get too hot. Adjust the flame accordingly.
Cook the meat for 75 minutes, rotating the dish every 20 minutes, until the wired thermometer reaches 70°C (158°F) .
Remove the dish and set aside. Raise the oven temperature 180-200°C. If cooking with wood/charcoal, spike the flame with wood. If using gas, increase the flame using the dial.
Remove the foil and drain the juices into a jug. Reserve half the vegetables, then transfer the rest to a blender or food processor and puree with the juices and sour cream until a thick sauce forms. Set aside and keep warm in a saucepan over a low heat.
With tongs, flip the meat in the dish to expose the rind, and return to the oven to create the crispy rind. Check the meat every 5 minutes to ensure the cap doesn’t burn—If it’s browning too quickly, reduce the flame. After 20 minutes, the rind should be nicely browned and crispy. Rest it for 5 minutes before serving.
Carve the finished roast into 2cm thick slices and serve with a large spoonful of sauce and side of roast vegetables.