Thursday, November 1, 2012

Braised Pork Shanks


I experimented across four recipes and landed on the recipe below, a combination of everything I learned about braising pork shanks.  I was thrilled with the results!  I opened my dutch oven after 3.5 hours of braising to a beautiful picture of succulent, fork tender pork, with a sauce that was delicious and ready to top the dish.  

This would be lovely served with a recipe for wine-braised red cabbage from www.epicurious.com.

2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil (my preference)
4 pork shanks
Salt and pepper
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons butter (Kerrygold is our favorite)
1 medium yellow onion
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped

1 thick sliced bacon, rough chopped3 cups chicken or pork stock
1 tablespoons minced rosemary
1 teaspoon minced thyme
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large dutch oven, heat oil using medium-low heat. Season shanks with salt and pepper and place into dutch oven with whole garlic cloves to brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove shanks and garlic and place onto plate.  Add bacon and cook a bit to create some additional oil. Then add butter, carrot, onion and celery to dutch oven.  Saute, stirring frequently until softened and beginning to caramelize, 10 minutes.  Add wine to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on bottom of pan.  Simmer for 2 minutes to reduce slightly.  Add stock, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.  Nestle shanks into mixture, so that the liquid almost covers the top of the meat. Place in oven, covered.  Cook for 3 1/2 hours, or until meat is fork tender.  Serve each shank with sauce poured over top.  Season with salt and pepper.