Last night, I had the pleasure of dining with three friends whom I have not seen since last year. One friend had spent the end of 2011 and these summer holidays trekking through Europe, and regaled us with tales of cute French boys who helped with her luggage, and eating apple strudel and some kind of "wurst" in Austria. Her descriptions of chewy dumplings in beef broth had me salivating, and my stomach grumbled in anticipation of my next feed. It was a good thing that we happened to be eating dinner at the Bavarian Bier Cafe in Parramatta, and my order was the Slow-Roasted Pork Knuckle.
Succulent slow-roasted pork knuckle, $37.50
When our friendly waiter brought it to our table, I think all four of us had identical expressions of awe and disbelief. I knew from reading other Sydney food blogs that it was going to be huge, and I had a general idea of how big a pork knuckle was, but I was still unprepared for the sight of what resembled a golden boulder sitting in the middle of the plate.
It was almost the size of my hand! Wait, does that make me a porker? ;P
The challenge was on! What challenge? Well, that of finishing the entire knuckle, of course!
Another of my beautiful pork knuckle. Notice the ample crackling covering the knuckle.
The knuckle was served with generous portions of mashed potato, sauerkraut, and Lowenbrau bier jus.
The sauerkraut was simply the perfect accompaniment to the fatty pork. Each bite was a delicious blend of textures and flavours.
I started with the crispy pork rind/crackling since 1) it's the tastiest part of the knuckle and 2) I was afraid it would go soggy from all the juices on the bottom. Animal fat may be a turn off for some people, but I was delighted to find a layer of translucent fat attached to the underside of the pork rind. A bite of the sauerkraut after each piece of crackling stopped it from being overwhelmingly fatty.
A piece of crackling. CRACKLING...*drools*
I then proceeded to polish off the whole knuckle. Minus the bones. And two finger-sized slivers that I gave my friends to try. The waitress who came to collect our plates couldn't believe her eyes. She said to me, "Did you really finish all that yourself? No one has ever done that before." Like, seriously? Instead of feeling affronted at the insinuation that I was a complete and utter glutton, I took it as a compliment, leaned back, and rubbed my tummy in contentment. And contempt for those with weaker wills and stomachs.
I left the mash and sauerkraut. I said I have a very elastic stomach, not a bottomless one xD
However, even I had to pass on dessert. My friends, who all ordered some sort of salad for their main, went ahead and indulged in the apple strudel with vanilla anglaise (and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on request):
Apple strudel, $12
And the creme brulee (also served with ice cream), which was on the 'specials' menu:
Creme brulee, (I didn't note down the price)
Bavarian Bier Cafe
2-8 Phillip Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Phone: (02) 8836 1400