Wednesday, August 25, 2010

U Jagušky part VII: Roasted Pork Knee

The first time we tried to order Krakonošovo koleno we were told it would take 90 minutes to cook, would we like to wait? (well actually our non-English speaking waitress finally had to write down 90 min. for us to understand what she was trying to tell us) Unfortunately we were starving and I had to settle for something else that day. Pork knee seems to be on the menu at every traditional Czech restaurant. It's very popular and I can see why.

First of all the name, it means Giant knee, but it is also a reference to the largest mountains in the Czech republic named the Krkonoše mountains, and also the deity who's domain was the protection of these mountains against poachers and a champion for the poor. This is a dish designed and perfected by the poor, it uses a scrap piece of meat and turns it into decadence.

It's basically a huge ball of skin, fat and ewwey gooey meat. You Filipino's know what I'm talking about. This is basically a Czech Crispy Pata. This one is roasted instead of deep fried however. You really can't beat the Filipino's version, I mean come on, whats better then deep fried skin and fat?
So this is a really really big hunk of pork. On the menu they advertise it as 1kg, but as a tiny little side note they charge 13kc per 100g so this dish costs 130kc(6.50) if it weights 1 Kg. That will be important later on.

When the waitress (our favorite waitress at this point) comes to the table with our beers, we immediately tell her we want the pork knee, and using my incredible miming skills (she still doesn't speak English and our Czech has not yet improved) I tell her we want a smaller knee so that we can order appetizers first while we wait the 90 minutes for the knee to be ready. I also mimed that Jessie would be ordering other food, and I wanted a knee just for one person. I wanted to get the order in as early as possible to cut down on the waiting. This was a great idea since it really took over and hour and a half for the knee to be ready.
Then I found out why. Apparently my miming skills aren't as good as I had hoped, as they brought the largest knee they could find. 1.95kg. If my math is correct that's almost 5.2 heart attacks on a single plate. Eat your heart out Fettuccine Alfredo (0.95 heart attacks on a plate).

Much like the Filipino crispy pata which is served with flavored vinegar to help cut through the fattiness, this is served with mustard and horseradish. This dish really is almost impossible to eat without the acid and spicy bite from these condiments. The fat in the meat just gets too greasy in your mouth and coats everything. However a dollop of mustard and horseradish bring out different elements in the meat and fat. Supremely satisfying... But I say with a heavy heart (literally) I did not finish the whole knee, in fact I don't think I even got through half of it! After consuming about 2.5 heart attacks of pork, I had to call it quits, I had it wrapped in tin foil and brought it home to butcher and put into pasta later on.

The bill for this behemoth? 255 kc, just under 13 dollars. Worth it? Definitely. More meat then I expected? Definitely. Necessitate a few more climbs up to Prague castle on the hill? Definitely.

I hope you like my new food porn shots, this is my first set of clumsy attempts to use the ¡SUPERMACRO! settings on my camera.


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