Citizens, this is the Bavarian counterpart to Osso Buco and represents a delicious Germanic counterpart to the classic Italian dish! 🙂
Speck is a key flavor component of this dish.
Speck, or dry-cured smoked ham, can be traced back to the 13th century; however, the name itself didn’t enter the common use until the five centuries later.
Originally produced by farmers isolated in the Italian mountains of Alto Adige, Speck’s popularity and production has spread to other regions of Italy and is now also used in German cuisine.
Speck is made from a pig’s rear thigh, which is deboned, and smothered in a dry-cure of salt and various spices, which often include pepper, garlic, juniper, pimento, and sugar. After about two weeks of curing, the meat is gently smoked over beech wood for another two to three weeks. Finally, it is left to dry for 20 to 24 weekes, further developing its smoky flavor.
You can mail order genuine [easyazon_link identifier=”B004BH2WVS” locale=”US” tag=”t0c5f-20″]Speck[/easyazon_link] from Amazon.
Please note this link orders a LOT of Speck, but just use the rest for sandwiches or snacking, you’ll thank me for it, Citizens!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1 fresh veal knuckle
1 cup of brown veal stock, use more as needed
250g of mixed roasted vegetables: carrots, leek, celery, and onions
1 tsp. tomato paste
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tsp. paprika
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1 pound of mixed seasonal wild mushrooms, such as porcini, chanterelles, morels, etc.
3 shallots, diced
40g lean speck, diced
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Remove the fat, any remaining skin and any sinew from the knuckle. Spice liberally with salt, pepper and paprika.
Fry the knuckle on all sides in a pan with some oil, allowing it to take on some color. Add the roasted vegetables, thyme and tomato paste and allow to cook before adding the veal stock and ⅓ cup water (TFD suggestion – try a bit of light Bavarian beer such as Heffeweizen instead of water for an unorthodox but delicious variant!).
Place in a pre-heated oven at 150°C. Check the meat and keep pouring stock from the bottom of the pan onto the meat to keep it moist and delicious.
The veal knuckle must remain “butter soft” when served. As such, the roasting time at a relatively low heat can easily be 3-3 ½ hours. After cooking to the degree of proper tenderness, remove from the oven and keep warm.
Using the stock created from roasting the knuckle, add a little water (or additional Heffeweizen, if you used beer previously), removing any excess and unnecessary fat. Then, reduce the stock by ¼ – ½, the necessary amount and consistency as best suited to your taste.
If necessary, add cornstarch or a thickening agent until a delicious brown sauce is created.
Clean the wild mushrooms and cut into equal sizes. Where possible, don’t use water to wash the mushrooms, but rather brush the dirt and soil off using a kitchen brush or a paper towel.
Fry the cubed bacon or speck and onions in some butter or oil, add the mushrooms, salt and pepper.
Sauté the ingredients for 5-6 minutes and then add the chopped parsley.
Serve the dish whole and carve at the table or carve in the kitchen, portion out and cover with sauce.
Place the mushrooms on top of the sliced or portioned meat and add some more sauce on top.
Bavarian bread dumplings are a delicious accompaniment with this dish, as are mashed potatoes.