Schweinshaxe: A Hearty Bavarian Ham Hock Dinner

Jun Seita/Flickr
  • 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (13)

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.

What You'll Need

  • 1 large or 2 small, fresh ham hocks, 3 to 4 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage, chopped fine or rubbed
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken 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 and pepper to taste
  • White wine to taste

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. With a sharp knife, slightly loosen the meat from the bone.
  3. Rub the salt, pepper, sage and rosemary all over the outside of the hock.
  4. In an oven-proof pan or roaster, add the shortening and brown the ham hock well on all sides.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  1. Remove the ham hock and vegetables and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and scrape all the roasted bits from the bottom.
  3. Strain the broth and add extra to make 2 cups.
  4. Stir the flour into the sour cream and then add the sour cream to the hot broth in the pan.
  5. Season to taste with salt, pepper and white wine.
  6. Remove the meat from the bones and serve with the sauce.



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.