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Pork Hocks (Schweinshaxe)

1 leek
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 onion
2 meaty pork hocks
salt
black peppercorns
2 tablespoons shortening
pinch cumin
Beer or water

Wash and dice the leek, celery, carrot, and onion. Cook pork hocks,
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 hocks, 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, if desired.

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.

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