Monday, October 31, 2005

Eisbein from Berlin - sorta

My substitute for Eisbein

One very unique dish to Berlin (not just Germany, but specifically Berlin) is Eisbein, which I understand is a crackling pork roast. I tried getting it today, but this place didn't have it. The Weihenstephaner folks did offer something similar though. I didn't quite catch the name, but I suspect it is Schweinshaxe. I noticed an English menu later that stated an item called "crackling pork roast in a Weihenstephaner dark-beer sauce with potato dumplings and bacon-cabbage salad." I'm still not sure if that was really what I ate as I didn't order from the menu (I talked to the waiter instead, but my broken German didn't help me in understanding his explanation of the dish).

Damn, this was a huge chunk of meat. The skin was a bit thick and tough, but if you could cut through it, then you got a great piece of crispy fat to go along with the very tender and moist meat underneath (the meat almost reminded me of a Hawaiian roast pig - yum). Interestingly, those things on the left that looked like potatoes weren't quite potatoes themselves, but were rather spongy and springy. Well anyway, we had to get the big one liter steins of beer to go with it - although they were interestingly not that common up here in Berlin, as apparently that is more of a southern German thing (which I believe this restaurant is). All of this was a lot of food and I could hardly finish. Well, I had to try to get this while I was up here.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The potato look-alike could be gnocchi (potato-flour-paste-rolled-into-a-potato-look-alike-ball)?

bma said...

I suppose so, but if so, then it was the biggest darned gnocchi I'd ever seen.

Venitha said...

LOL - did that knife come stabbed into the meat like that or did you put it there? Perfect!

bma said...

It came to the table stabbed in like that; I guess they really want you to dig in.

Anonymous said...

hey, the photos you took are great, mind to share which camera phone u used?

Anonymous said...

Great blog - I almost spend an hour now reading.
By the way...
The potato look-alikes are Kartoffel Knoedel (potato dumblings). And to turn the Schweinshaxe into Berlin-"Eisbein" it would have to be served with Sauerkraut and Erbspueree (mashed peas or pease pudding?).

Anonymous said...

You had a Schweinshaxn with Kartoffelknoedel which translates to pork knuckle and potato dumplings. The item you found on the menu can be seen here: http://flickr.com/photos/ripeye/2664645476/
To demystify these potato dumplings: Gnocci direction isn't that far from it. Their dough is made from 50% cooked and 50% raw potatoes, some spices and then boiled a little while; it's a bavarian specialty (as is all the pork stuff : ) )

Micha said...

To clarify a little bit more have a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knödel

You will find Knoedel not only in Bavaria but in most eastern parts of Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary ;).