Bötel with clay and straw

Bötel with clay and straw is the paraphrase of Eisbein with Erbspüree and sauerkraut. The name originates from the area around Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt. The pea puree is called clay and the sauerkraut is called straw. Bötel is the knuckle of pork.

It is interesting to note that “Bötel” is a New Low German term for house, estate or farm, which derives from the Indo-Germanic “bhu”. Together with clay and straw, which were the materials used to build houses in many ethnic groups of the earth, this results in a context such as “house with clay and straw”.

Bötel clay straw knuckle of pork

Recipe Bötel with clay and straw

A hearty dish from Saxony-Anhalt: pork knuckle with mashed peas and sauerkraut.
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Course: main dish
Cuisine: Saxony Anhalt
Keyword: savoury
Difficulty: Practised
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 2

Ingredients & Shopping list

  • 2 salted pork knuckle a 400g
  • 500 g raw sauerkraut
  • 150 g breakfast bacon cut into cubes
  • 350 g dried yellow peas (soaked the day before)
  • 2 bunches soup greens
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 3 onions
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp rubbed marjoram
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper and allspice
  • salt, pepper


Pork knuckle (Bötel)

  • Rinse the pork knuckle and pat dry.
  • In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add the popsicles.
  • Spike an onion with bay leaf and cloves, add to pot along with greens and spice seeds, and close pot with a lid. Cook pot over low heat for about 90 minutes. 
  • Then lift out the ice legs and strain the broth.

Sauerkraut (straw)

  • For the sauerkraut, chop an onion and sauté in hot clarified butter until translucent, add the sauerkraut and the crushed juniper berries, pour in 250 ml of the knuckle of pork stock.
  • Simmer for 1 hour. During the last half hour, cook the ice-cream legs as well.

Clay (pea porridge)

  • Meanwhile, bring the drained peas to the boil with 250 ml of knuckle of pork stock, a chopped onion, the potatoes and the greens.
  • Season with salt, pepper and marjoram and cook covered over medium heat for 1 hour.
  • Then pass through a sieve or puree with a kitchen utensil, season again.
  • Fry the bacon in a dry pan and spread over the pea porridge and sauerkraut.

Tips & Hints

Serve together with the ice cream legs.

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