A very happy weekend from sunny Singapore! Yesterday was one of those days where the rule book was thrown away and I tried something slightly different…a knuckle sandwich! It was intended to be a type of pulled pork/sauerkraut sandwich but it didn’t turn out that way mainly because we couldn’t get our hands on a tin of sauerkraut…anywhere!
We have a freezer that holds all sorts of wonders and on Friday night I pulled out a softball sized boneless pork knuckle. Now, you have to love this because the retail price of this knuckle was $4.75 SGD or $3.84 USD. When you can feed 5 people on less that four bucks, you know you’ve got a winning combination for a cheap but tasty dinner.
So it all starts with the marinade. I tweaked one from a pork loin recipe that we use and it went something like this:
- 1 boneless pork knuckle
- 1/2 cup of Shiraz
- 3 Tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 Teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon dried rosemary
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
Combine all the ingredients above (minus the knuckle) in a non-reactive bowl. Once blended well, put your pork knuckle into a zip top bag and pour the marinade over the knuckle. Pop the back into a bowl (in case you’ve not closed it well or if there happens to be a small tear) and place it into the fridge for a few hours. I had our knuckle in for 8 hours before I put it on the grill. Make sure you flip the bag every so often and give it a gentle squeeze. You want to make sure your knuckle is covered well and soaks up as much of the marinade as possible.
Pull out the knuckle about 45 minutes before you’re ready and bring it up to room temperature or as close to it as possible. Set up your grill for direct cooking and stabilize your temperature at 225F. Throw in a few chunks of hickory, adding a wonderful smoky flavor. I placed the knuckle on a v-rack and roasting pan lined with aluminium foil. I also put in 2 cups of chicken stock in the pan to help with keeping the knuckle nice and moist.
I roasted the knuckle as is for just over 2 hours at 225 – we were on a timeline and so I removed the knuckle just after the 2 hour mark, covered it in foil to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Now I know, I know, I know….this knuckle could have easily stayed on the grill for another 2-3 hours, adopting a low and slow approach. The next time I do the knuckle, for sure. By pulling it off at 2 hours it was cooked through nicely and the flavour was excellent but it was still a bit tough and the fat hadn’t rendered as well as it could have. So, lesson learned, always take your time.
Once properly rested, I sliced the pork knuckle into thin slices for our knuckle sammiches! The sandwiches were also a bit unorthodox but my oh my, they tasted fantastic. We loaded up fresh kaiser rolls with a bit of homemade KC barbecue sauce, dijon mustard, pickled artichoke hearts and shredded old cheddar. The result was an excellent flavour combination that we’ll just have to work on improving.
The point of the entry is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat well and this little knuckle sandwich proved the point.
Overall Heather Rating (4/10) SHOCKING but true…if the knuckle had turned out as a melt in your mouth piece of pork…this would have been a 9! Now, to be fair, our son Alex is complaining that the score is waaaaay too low. The sandwiches were “awesome” according to the first born son! Thanks buddy!