Pork shanks, which come from the front leg of the pig, can be chewy when cooked incorrectly. When prepared properly, however, they become succulent and flavorful. Tim Love thinks the best way to cook them is in a long, slow braise, as in the recipe here. Don't let the liquid boil, he warns, or it will toughen the meat.
To make Pulled Pork and Goat Cheese Quesadillas: Reserve 2 pork shanks and 1/2 cup of pork gravy.
More Braising Recipes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chile powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 pork shanks, about 1 1/2 pounds each
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
How to Make It
In a large, sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine the flour and chile powder with 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper. Add the pork shanks, one at a time, and shake to coat thoroughly.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add 3 of the pork shanks and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer the browned shanks to a deep, heavy casserole. Wipe out the skillet and brown the remaining 3 pork shanks in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; lower the heat if necessary. Add the pork shanks to the casserole.
Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Pour the wine and vegetables over the pork. Add the stock, rosemary, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Tuck the pork shanks into the liquid so that they're mostly submerged. Cover and cook over moderately low heat for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Turn the pork shanks every 30 minutes to keep them submerged in the liquid. Transfer the braised shanks to a large, deep platter, cover and keep warm.
Strain the liquid, pressing hard on the solids; discard the solids. Return the liquid to the casserole and boil until reduced to 4 cups, about 20 minutes. Spoon off the fat, pour the pork gravy over the braised shanks and serve.
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