German Pork Roast Recipe
German Pork Roast aka Schweinebraten is the quintessential Sunday dinner option for Germany. Except that we eat it for lunch, not dinner. But you get my point.
I grew up in Germany and I can still smell the mouthwatering smells coming out of the kitchen, us kids naturally gravitating towards there as the smells became more and more intense. Finally, my mom would call my dad to carve the roast and that meant it was almost time to eat. Hurridly, we’d set the table and grab a drink and wait patiently at the table for lunch to be served. Platters of sliced pork would appear on the table, bowls full of red cabbage and noodles or potato dumplings covered almost every available surface of the table. Gravy boats held the most flavorful gravy made from scratch, just waiting to be poured over, bathing the meat and noodles and cabbage.
Naturally, making a typical German Pork Roast is one of my absolute comfort foods and I often make it, when I am just a tad homesick or if someone asks me to make a typical German dish for them.
So now I want to share one of my favorite German dishes with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
- 4 lbs pork neck or pork shoulder
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 2-3 carrots - diced
- 2-3 celery stalks - diced
- 6 cloves of garlic - chopped or pressed
- 1 small potato - finely diced
- 2 cups of mushrooms - quartered
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-3 cups of dry red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 7-8 stalks of Thyme
- 4 stalks of Oregano
- 1 stalk of Rosemary
- 5 leaves of Sage
- 2 tbsp Italian dried herbs
- Heat up a heavy duty pot over medium-high heat. When your pot is hot, add some oil and when it is nice and hot, add your pork loin to brown thoroughly on the outside. Be patient and let it get to a medium-dark brown on all sides, then add your chopped onions and turn down the heat a bit. Stir frequently, so the onions brown evenly.
- When your onions are nicely browned, stir in the garlic, tomato paste, potato, celery and carrots and let brown for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly during this time. From putting the meat in the pot, adding the veggies to pouring in the wine, these two steps should take about 20-30 minutes.
- Then it's time for the magic. Add approximately one cup of red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, to dissolve all the dark bits and pieces, laying the foundation for the gravy. Depending on how decadent you feel, you can add 1 cup of wine. Or 3. Drink the rest.
- After you add the wine and enjoy the beautiful aroma for a minute or two, you add your spices (salt and pepper to taste) and herbs. I like to tie my herbs into a little bundle. The French call it a bouquet garni. I call it an herb bundle. Anyways, I just tie the Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Oregano together with some kitchen yarn and drop it in the pot together with 2 large bay leaves. It just makes it easier to fish out later, when you finish the gravy.
- Now it is time to add some more water, so it reaches about 1 inch below the highest point of the meat. Pop on the lid and either let it simmer on low or put it in the oven at 325 F until the center of your meat reaches 145F, approximately 2 hours. The exact cooking time will depend on how much meat you use and its shape. This is a pretty hands-off process, just check and stir every once in while.
- When your meat reaches its desired temperature, pull it out and let it rest, preferably covered with some aluminum foil to keep it warm. This will allow the juices to redistribute through the meat and keeps it from turning dry.
- While your meat rests, it is time to finish off the gravy. Fish out the bouquet garni and then pass the gravy though a fine strainer, smashing and pressing the soft vegetables through the fine netting with a ladle or large spoon. The "pureed" vegetables naturally thicken the gravy and give it a rustic and satisfying texture. Heat up the gravy in a saucepan and let it come to a boil. Depending on your preference of consistency, you can add a slurry of water and flour (wheat or potato flour, if you want to go Gluten free) to thicken it up or wait until it reduces naturally. If the gravy is too thick for your liking, just add a little bit of water. I like to leave some of the veggies whole and add them back into the gravy, as they look pretty and are very tasty mixed up with your gravy and noodles. Check your seasonings one more time, carve your meat and ladle on the goodness, making your meat and noodles swim in this rich and decadent sauce.
- German Pork Roast - Recommended Side Dishes
- As a side, I recommend red cabbage with apples and Potato dumplings or Spätzle, a typical German noodle with the German Pork Roast. I'll be posting recipes for those soon. In the meantime, and if you are in the US, you can find German Spätzle in some Grocery stores, like HEB or WorldMarket. If you can't get you hands on those, try to get some wide egg noodles, they would work beautifully too.