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Pork Shank Osso Buco

In place of the veal shanks typically used in osso buco, Jimmy Bannos Jr. braises pork shanks with tomatoes and wine. He adds anchovies, crushed red pepper and lemon zest to the braise, creating a complex and deeply flavored sauce that’s phenomenal served over creamy polenta.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 6 pork shanks (7 1/2 pounds; see Note)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Creamy polenta, for serving


  1. In a baking dish, season the pork shanks with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add 3 of the shanks in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a large roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining 3 shanks.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onion, carrot, celery and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, anchovies, lemon zest and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the shanks in the roasting pan. Cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.
  4. Transfer the pork shanks to a platter and tent with foil. Discard the herbs and spoon off the fat from the sauce. Working in batches, puree the sauce in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper. Spoon some of the sauce over the pork shanks and pass the remaining sauce at the table. Serve the osso buco with creamy polenta.

Make Ahead

The pork shanks can be refrigerated in the sauce for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.


Pork shanks are available at some supermarkets and dartagnan.com.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, medium-bodied Montepulciano: 2009 Fattoria Le Terrazze Rosso Conero

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes

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