Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It is nearly inconceivable that I, as an Austrian who likes to cook, would not have made Schweinsbraten, i.e. pork roast before, that mainstay of Austrian cuisine (I think we stole it from the Czech, actually). But I mostly cook foreign food, mainly out of curiosity. Also, a long relationship with a vegetarian has atrophied my dead-animal cooking skills.

But! Last Saturday I stumbled over a piece of pork on sale, and pounced on it. And then I made the simplest roast of them all: Schweinsbraten am Salzbeet, or pork roast on salt.

Rub your roast with stuff (I used a mixture of thyme, rosemary, mustard, pepper and salt, with a dash of olive oil), and put it on half a kilogram of salt. If your roast weighs in at more than a kilogram, you might have to double the salt.

Mustard rub on pork. Or vomit on innocent dead piggy, if you are vegetarian

Close-up of pig-carcass on salt bed.
Note the baking paper beneath - it will make clean-up considerably easier

Put it in the oven at 200 degrees centigrade, wait one hour per kilogram. No turning, no basting - just leave the poor thing alone. After an hour: deliciousness! I ate it with some home-made bread and some cooked leek and fennel, and it was good.

It's already dead, might as well eat it

So why the salt? I can only speculate here, but I am guessing that the salt serves two functions: it drains fluids away from the cooking meat, (so no gravy for this roast, which is a drawback), and conducts heat much better than air. Anyway, the main thing is it makes for an excellent roast. Njam!


  1. Finding rabbit is a challenge, but a pork roast, that we can find.

  2. No rabbit in the land of Bugs Bunny? I don't know about the States, but here in Europe most bigger supermarkets have rabbit, and all butchers will. But maybe that is just because us crazy old-world monkeys will eat anything ;)

    Happy cooking!

  3. I'm looking forward to this. My husband positively drooled over the rabbit dish, but we couldn't find rabbit even in the specialty marts here.

    In some way, those in the US can be very backwards.

  4. never heard about the salt bed for preparing a schweinsbraten, but good to know, i´ll try this exeptional method next time.

    greetings from sunny vienna


  5. Herr Habakuk, habe d' Ehre!

    Let me know how it turns out, und Mahlzeit!
    Greetings retour from the equally sunny Lausanne,