Growing up, a perfectly cooked and beautifully glazed Eisbein usually took centre stage on our festive table. There could be no doubt that this was the main event. It was only years later that I had an Eisbein for one in a restaurant and the penny dropped. How indulgent! To have an Eisbein all to yourself was the ultimate luxury to me, and if there’s one time of year when it’s totally okay to spoil yourself it’s the festive season – whether you’ll be spending it with family and friends around a large dinner table or in a more intimate way.
TIME: 2½ hours | SERVES: 4
for the cooking of the Eisbeins
4 Eskort smoked Eisbeins (between 900 g and 1 kg)
8 – 10 cloves
3 bay leaves
15 black peppercorns
for the glaze
200 g (250 ml) muscovado sugar
500 ml orange juice
candied fruit (optional)
Place the Eisbeins in a large saucepan, then press the cloves into the onion and add it to the saucepan, also adding the carrots, bay leaves and peppercorns.
Cover with cold water and cover with a lid. Place the saucepan on the heat and bring it to a boil.
Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. As a rule of thumb, allow for 15 minutes on the boil per 500 g.
Once done, gently remove the Eisbeins from the water and let it cool before removing the netting around of the Eisbeins and gently removing the skin.
Heat the oven to 180 °C.
Place the sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then, let it simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Cut diamond shapes into the fatty part of the Eisbeins and stick a clove into the centre of each diamond.
Place the Eisbeins in an oven dish and pour the glaze over them before popping the dish into the oven. Spoon the glaze over the Eisbeins every 15 minutes until golden. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Take it out of the oven, garnish with candied fruit and serve with wholegrain mustard.