Braised Pork Shanks with Grilled Peach Salad

F&W Best New Chef 2017 Nina Compton, of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, lived in Jamaica for a few years. As a result, she created this jerk-style rub, which she uses on meaty pork shanks before slowly braising them in the oven. For balance, she serves the rich shanks alongside a summery and sprightly grilled peach salad.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Time(Other): overnight marinating

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  • 1/4 cup lightly packed thyme leaves, chopped, plus 
6 thyme sprigs 

  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 6 pork shanks (about 
1 1/2 pounds each)

  • 4 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 2 large rosemary sprigs

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 8 peaches, halved and pitted 

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin 
olive oil

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 small English cucumber, diced

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup Champagne 

  • 1 cup each lightly packed mint and basil leaves

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the pork In a small bowl, whisk the chopped thyme with the brown sugar, salt and spices. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the canola oil until smooth. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork, then refrigerate overnight. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 300°. 
In a large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of canola oil until shimmering. Add half the pork and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, 
until browned all over, about 
10 minutes. Transfer to 
a large roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining pork. 

  3. Add the yellow onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, rosemary sprigs, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour the mixture over the pork. Braise 
in the oven, turning every 
15 minutes, until the pork is very tender, about 3 hours 
and 15 minutes. Let rest for 
15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the salad Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the peaches with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides, about 
5 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface and let cool, then cut into small wedges. 

  5. In a large bowl, toss the peaches with the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Fold in the mint and basil leaves and season generously with salt and pepper. Serve with the pork.

Contributed By Photo Abby Hocking / Food & Wine Published July 2017

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