Pork Knuckles
1 small leek
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 onion
2 meaty pork knuckles
Black pepper corns
2 tablespoons cooking fat or vegetable shortening
a pinch of cumin
Beer or water

Wash and dice the leek, celery, carrot and onion. Cook pork knuckles, diced vegetables, salt and peppercorns in water to cover 2 to 3 hours or until tender. Avoid overcooking. Remove from water; drain well reserving vegetables and cooking liquid. Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Melt fat or shortening in an enamel-lined, cast iron pan. Add drained pork knuckles, cooked vegetables and a small amount of cooking liquid.

Bake 30 minutes. Moisten meat frequently with more cooking liquid. Before meat is fully cooked, sprinkle with beer or water in which a good amount of salt has been dissolved. Add cumin to increase flavor. Serve with potato or white bread dumplings or sauerkraut salad. Note: In Bavaria, the juices and cooking liquid are strained and served as an accompanying sauce.


Steckerlfisch is a very popular Oktoberfest dish. The word steckerlfisch can be traced back to 1902, from the firm "Fischer Vroni", a Munich family business.

The work Steckerl comes from the Bavarian dialect for "little stick". Fish from the local lakes and rivers was used in earlier times but as transport improved, herring and mackerel became more popular. Today, mackerel is most popular of the two.

The stick is inserted lengthways up the fish, so it can be angled over a charcoal fire. This technique allows the fat to run down the stick and not onto the fire.

Ox Tail Soup

2 pounds ox tails, disjointed
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 peppercorns
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 bay leaf
1/2 drained tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 tablespoon unbleached flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup Madeira

In a 4-quart Dutch Oven brown ox tails and onion in hot oil for several minutes. Add water, salt and peppercorns; simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Cover and continue to simmer for 3 additional hours. Add the parsley, carrots, celery, bay leaf, tomatoes, and thyme; continue simmering for 30 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender. Strain stock and refrigerate for an hour or more. In a blender puree the edible meat and vegetables and reserve. Remove fat from top of stock and reheat. In a large, dry frying pan brown flour over high heat. Cool slightly. Add the butter or margarine, blend. A little at a time, add the stock and vegetables. Correct seasoning and add Madeira just before serving.


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