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Bavarian Roast Pork – Krustenbraten

The ultimate Bavarian Sunday roast: Krustenbraten with Dunkelbiersoße. My classic recipe for crispy, juicy Bavarian roast pork with a lip-smackingly good dark beer sauce is always a winner and perfect for cooler weather.

There are no two ways about it, Bavarians love their pork, and right at the top of the recipe list has to be Krustenbraten or Bavarian Roast Pork. With shatteringly crunchy crackling, juicy, tender meat, all smothered in a delicious dark beer sauce, this beloved dish is super popular in homes and restaurants across the land.

Is Bavarian Roast pork difficult to cook?

Not at all! A lot of people are scared of roasting meat, but once you have the technique, you’ll see it is a lovely easy meal to cook. Traditionally this tasty roast is served with a dark beer sauce which mostly cooks in the oven at the same time as the meat, so it’s mostly hands-off.

What cut of meat is used for Bavarian Roast Pork?

Here in Bavaria, the pork shoulder is used to make this type of roast. This is a nicely marbled piece of meat with a good covering of fat (keeps the meat juicy) and skin which crisps up to perfect crackling in the oven. Outside of Germany, I’d recommend asking your local butcher for this cut of meat for best results.

How do I know my pork is cooked?

I’ve included approximate cooking times for the pork in the recipe below, but I’d highly recommend a digital thermometer. They are inexpensive and useful in loads of recipes.

What is served with Bavarian Pork Roast?

Traditionally, Bavarian Roast Pork is served with potato dumplings (kartoffelknödel), but it is perfectly delicious with potato salad, pasta, mashed potatoes of just some good sliced bread. It is lovely served with sauerkraut or coleslaw or just a crisp green salad.

When the weather starts getting cold and dark outside, I find there is nothing quite like a roast for Sunday lunch or dinner, with the aroma of a slow-cooked meal wafting through the house and making everyone hungry! You can check out some more of my favourite roasts by clicking here.

Bavarian Roast Pork with dark beer sauce

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I can only get a different sized piece of pork – can I still cook Bavarian Roast Pork?

Yes! If you are cooking roast pork for a crowd the timings for larger pieces are in the recipe card and below. You need to make sure to add a bit more liquid as during the longer cooking time it will dry out.

1kg – 80 minutes
1.5kg – 120 minutes
2kg – 160 minutes
2.5kg – 200 minutes

How do I reheat roast pork?

It is particularly tasty to gently reheat slices of pork in the leftover gravy. That way it stays perfectly juicy and gets loads of extra flavour. Otherwise, cover it with tinfoil and reheat it in a low oven.

At what temperature is roast pork done?

Ahh, my favourite topic. Pork can now officially be cooked to medium-rare (hurrah!) which means that the bad old days of dried out, tough-as-leather-pork are officially over. The guidance from those in the know is that pork can be cooked to a temperature of 63°C / 145°F for medium-rare which I think is perfect for lean cuts like a tenderloin. For pork shoulder, I like to cook it a little hotter, up to 70°C / 160°F.

Can pork roast be slightly pink?

Yes! As above, Pork can now be cooked medium rare according to official guidelines. Enjoy!

Should I brine this pork roast?

You can brine any meat you like, though I find it doesn’t add anything to this particular recipe as there is a good layer of skin and fat to keep the meat from drying out.

Should i sear thr pork at a low or high heat?

Browning the meat before roasting (known as the Maillard reaction) adds flavour helps keep the meat moist and juicy. Unlike a steak which is often seared hard and fast, I like to sear pork roast over a lower heat to gently brown the outside. In this recipe a lower heat is better.


Bavarian Pork Roast with dark beer sauce
Bavarian Pork Roast with dark beer sauce
Bavarian Pork Roast with dark beer sauce

Bavarian Roast Pork - Krustenbraten

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

The ultimate Bavarian Sunday roast: Krustenbraten with Dunkelbiersoße. My classic recipe for crispy, juicy Bavarian roast pork with a lip-smackingly good dark beer sauce is always a winner and perfect for cooler weather.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork shoulder, with skin
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil (e.g. sunflower)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, chopped,
  • ¼ head of celeriac or 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 250ml dark beer
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar

optional:

  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch / cornflour

Instructions

    1. PREPARE: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Use a very sharp knife (a box cutter is excellent for this) to score the skin of the pork in a diamond pattern. Rub the pork generously with the salt, paprika and pepper then set aside.
    2. SEAR THE MEAT: In an oven-proof pan or casserole, heat the oil and butter over a medium heat until the butter has melted and is foaming. Brown the pork on all sides, cooking 2-3 minutes per side without moving. Browning the meat with butter over a medium heat will prevent the paprika from burning. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside in a bowl to catch any juices..
    3. COOK THE VEGETABLES: Add the carrots, leek, celeriac or celery, garlic and caraway seeds to the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes, until beginning to soften. Pour in the vegetable stock to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spatula to scrape up all the browned on flavour.
    4. ROAST THE PORK: Return the pork to the pan skin side down. Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the meat skin side up and pour the beer into the pan. Roast a further 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the meat is cooked through. It should register 70°C / approx. 160°F on a meat thermometer.
    5. MAKE THE GRAVY: When the meat has cooked, remove it from the oven and turn the broiler/grill to high. Place the pork in an ovenproof dish, then pour the roasting juices through a sieve into a small saucepan, pressing down on the vegetables to extract all the juices.
    6. SEASON AND THICKEN THE GRAVY: Stir in the tomato paste and sugar and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary If you’d like to thicken the dark beer sauce, stir the cornstarch into a little bit of cold water until smooth, then add to the pan, stirring until thickened. Keep warm.
    7. CRISP THE PORK SKIN: To crisp the skin of the pork, return the pork to the middle of the oven. Keep a good eye on it as the skin will begin to crackle and pop very quickly. When it has reached the desired crispness (5-7 minutes), remove it from the oven.
    8. SERVE: Slice the pork and serve on warmed plates. Traditionally Krustenbraten is served with potato dumplings (Knödel) but it is also delicious with mashed potato.

Notes

ROASTING TIMES:

I’ve given the timing in this recipe for a 1kg piece of meat which should easily feed four people with sides. Below are the roasting times for larger pieces of meat. Whichever way you cook it, don’t add the beer to the roasting pan until at least halfway through cooking time - you may find you need a little more liquid as it will evaporate during the cooking process.

1kg - 80 minutes
1.5kg -120 minutes
2kg - 160 minutes
2.5kg-200 minutes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 879Total Fat: 61gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 225mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 60g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food, architectural and landscape photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.
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2 Comments

  1. Had troubles with the crust but a great recipe!

    The meat overall cooked great and the beer sauce was phenomenal!! But, I had struggled to keep the crust just right in coloration. I think the paprika spice contributed to this, as I was searing all sides at the beginning. The heat setting was usual, but it seemed to have burned quickly. I’m wondering how I could avoid this in the future.

    • Hi Kaori! Thank you so much for your kind words and your fantastic question! You’ve really helped me clarify something in this recipe and I’ve updated it so that it is clearer. For a meat like this with a dry rub on it I brown or sear the meat at a lower temperature to stop burning, it’s tempting to get the pan screaming hot like you might do with steak but the browning reaction actually starts at temps as low as 150°C / 350°F! Adding a little butter to the pan and browning over a medium heat will help prevent burning as you can really see how hot the pan is.

      If you are finding that the top crust gets too dark in the oven you can either turn the meat later in the cooking process or cover it with a little square of foil until near the end of the cooking time.

      Thank you so much again for your brilliant question! J.

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