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German Pork Roast (Schweinebraten)

A German pork roast, known as Schweinebraten, is a traditional dish often served with rich gravy and side dishes like red cabbage and potato dumplings.


  • 4 lbs (1.8 kg) pork shoulder or pork loin, with the rind

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 2 large carrots, sliced

  • 2 celery stalks, sliced

  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced

  • 1 apple, cored and sliced

  • 2 cups (480 ml) dark beer or beef broth

  • 2 cups (480 ml) water

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon flour (optional, for thickening the gravy)


  1. Prepare the Pork:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

  • Score the rind of the pork in a crisscross pattern with a sharp knife.

  • Rub the pork all over with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. Make sure the seasonings get into the cuts on the rind.

  1. Brown the Pork:

  • Heat a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  • Sear the pork on all sides until browned. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

  • Remove the pork from the pan and set it aside.

  1. Prepare the Vegetables:

  • In the same pan, add the minced garlic, onions, carrots, celery, leek, and apple.

  • Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

  1. Deglaze the Pan:

  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes.

  • Pour in the dark beer (or beef broth) and water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  • Add the bay leaves.

  1. Roast the Pork:

  • Place the pork back into the roasting pan on top of the vegetables.

  • Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven.

  • Roast for about 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the pork is tender and the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F (63°C).

  1. Crisp the Rind:

  • If the rind is not crispy enough, increase the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. Remove the lid or foil to allow the rind to crisp up.

  1. Make the Gravy:

  • Once the pork is done, remove it from the pan and let it rest.

  • Strain the cooking liquid and vegetables through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan. Press down on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible.

  • Bring the liquid to a simmer. If you want to thicken the gravy, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with a little cold water to make a slurry, then whisk it into the simmering liquid until thickened.

  1. Serve:

  • Slice the pork roast and serve it with the gravy.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Traditional side dishes include red cabbage (Rotkohl) and potato dumplings (Kartoffelknödel).

  • A simple green salad or roasted root vegetables also pair well.

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