Now that we have to go to Ranch Foods Direct every week to pick up our raw milk share, I have gotten in the habit of purchasing a few other items as well: duck eggs for the baby, bacon and raw grassfed cheese for Nolan, and interesting cuts of meat for dinners. A while back, I put a fresh pork hock in the basket, and then stared at it in the freezer scratching my head for a month or two trying to figure out how in the world to cook it.
Turns out fresh pork hocks are also called knuckles, and apparently they are pretty popular in German cooking. I ended up braising it, and finishing it in the oven on a big bed of cabbage in my cast iron skillet.
I served the pork and cabbage with little German potato dumplings called Kartofelkloesse just for fun (made with the addition of an egg, and gluten-free thanks to sweet rice flour and potato starch), and drizzled a little brown mustard vinaigrette over everything. The pork was very tender and rich, the cabbage was tart, and the potato dumplings were delicate—altogether a very homey, satisfying meal.