Bavarian-style roast pork

  • 4 pounds boneless pork roast (with a thick layer of fat)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into rings a scant
  • ¼-inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds hot chicken or beef stock, if needed
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottled dark beer, well-chilled, or ice water


  1. Preheat the oven to 475°.
  2. Rub the meat all over with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern in the fat layer of the pork.
  3. Fill a roasting pan with water to a depth of about an inch, then add the meat, fat-side own. Distribute the onions over the meat and water. Sprinkle the garlic and caraway seeds on the meat.
  4. Bake for ½ hour, turn the meat over, and bake for 45 minutes more. If the liquid begins to evaporate and the pan begins to get dry, add some hot stock. When the 45 minutes are up, begin pouring the cold beer (or ice water) over the top of the roast; this will help form dark, crispy crust. Continue baking an additional 30 minutes, pouring beer over it every so often (you don’t have to use it all).
  5. When the skin of the roast is dark and crispy, remove from oven. Total baking time will be about 1 hour and 45 minutes. (Note: A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast will register well above the 170° considered to be “well-done,” but because the roast is cooked in liquid, the meat will be moist and tender.)
  6. Strain the juices and serve with the sliced pork. As Leeb says, the gravy “should never be bound with flour or starch; that would be a crime in Bavaria!”


Recipe adapted from Bavarian Cooking by Olli Leeb, originally Bayerische Leibspeisen, 7th Edition, 1995, translated by Maria Rerrich, Munich

© / Olga Lyubkina

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