While in Germany last year, I came across a Bavarian dish called “Schweinshaxe” (pork knuckle), which is a ham hock that is boiled and roasted to a crisp. I enjoyed picking apart this barbarian hunk of meat, and I wanted to replicate the experience at home. Since uncured ham hocks are hard to come by, and most butchers would look at you funny if you asked for a pork knuckle, I decided to try out a different cut but with similar result.
I settled on a pork shoulder (same thing as a pork butt), which is easy to find and fairly marbled. Pork shoulder is the cut used in pulled pork, so I thought I would roast a shoulder in the grill but take it off before it starts to fall apart; the outer shell came out deliciously crispy and the meat was juicy and tender.
5-6 lb pork shoulder/butt, bone-in preferred
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp each black pepper, cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp each onion powder, salt
Mix the spices together, and rub them all over the pork. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat the grill on high heat and then turn off the heat on one side. Place the pork on the cool side of the grill.
To bring out a smoky, roasted taste in the meat, I recommend smoking some wood chips with the pork. To do so, soak a handful of wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Then pull them out of the water and place them on some tin foil, and form a container for them with the tin foil. Put them on the hot part of the grill and leave them for the entire time. You can also buy a smoker box to forgo the whole tin foil thing (that’s what I use).
Cover and grill using indirect heat for four hours at a temperature between 250 and 300 degrees. Flip the pork after two hours. After you take the pork off the grill, let it rest for 15 minutes.
If you’re up for it, you can place the whole roast on a dish and take turns shaving the meat off with your date. It’s pretty fun. Afterwards, you can slice up the rest for later, as you see above.