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Though traditional ossobuco is made with veal shanks, the cooking method lends itself perfectly to pork shanks as well. If you haven’t tried braised pork shanks, you’re missing out. Done properly they melt in your mouth and the meat falls from the bone with just a fork. The other added bonus is they’re cheap; I picked mine up at my Mexican grocer for $1.99/lb. They normally come as a 6 inch long shank from the front legs of the pig so I had the butcher saw them in half to make the perfect size for braising.
Although the addition of sage is not found in ossobuco normally, being that this uses pork rather than veal, it compliments the meat perfectly. This is one of those recipes that once you try it, I guarantee you’ll be making again. Enjoy!
I started by dicing 1 onion, 2 carrots, 3 ribs of celery and 5 garlic cloves. I heated 3 tablespoons butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and added the vegetables then cooked them for 10 minutes to soften.
I seasoned six 3 inch pork shanks with salt and pepper.
I heated 1/2 cup of oil in a wide fry pan over medium high heat. Then I placed 1 cup of flour in a pie plate and coated 3 of the shanks thoroughly with the flour and placed them in the fry pan. I browned them on all sides for about 2 minutes/side, removed them and repeated with the others. Remember to cook only 3 at a time or you’ll crowd the pan and they won’t brown properly. Also, only coat with flour when you’re ready to put them in the pan or the flour will get damp and again, won’t brown properly.
When the shanks were done browning, I set them on top of the vegetables in the pot.
I poured the oil off from the fry pan and added 1 cup of white wine to degalze the pan and cooked over medium high for 3 minutes. I added 1 cup beef stock, 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, 12 fresh sage leaves, 6 sprigs of thyme, 4 strips of lemon peel and 2 bay leaves to the pan and brought to a simmer. When it reached a simmer, I poured it over the shanks in the pot and brought the whole thing to a boil again. If the liquid isn’t to the top of the shanks, add more until it is. I covered the pot and cooked it in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours. When they were done, I removed the meat to a warm platter, fished out the bay leaves and cooked the liquid until it thickened slightly. I prefer the vegetables whole, but you may also pureé them with a stick blender.
And this is the final dish. I served it with orzo (my daughter calls it pasta rice) because my daughter asked for it, but mashed potatoes, white beans or a risotto would be work just as well. Enjoy!
- 3 pork shanks cut into two pieces each (6 shank pieces total)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 3 celery ribs diced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 strips of lemon peel
- Add 3 tablesppons butter to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and cook for 10 minutes to soften. Set aside.
- Heat ½ cup oil in a wide fry pan over medium high heat. Season the pork shanks with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a pie plate and roll 3 of the shanks in the flour to thoroughly coat. Brown the shanks in the fry pan for about 2 minutes on each side then place on top of the vegetables in the pot. Repeat with the other shanks.
- Pour the oil off from the pan and deglaze with the white wine, cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, chicken stock, sage, thyme, bay leaves and lemon peel. Bring to a simmer then pour all this over the pork in the pot. Add additional liquid if necessary to bring it to the top of the shanks.
- Cover the pot and cook in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Remove the shanks when done along with the bay leaves and boil the liquid until thickened to your liking. Remember, this isn't a gravy so don't try to get to that consistency. The vegetables can be left whole for serving or pureed in the liquid if you prefer. Adjust salt as needed.