Saturday, January 17, 2015

Braised Pork Shanks that melt in your mouth

I love to use my big Le Crueset pots when braising and braising is such a great way to prepare flavorful and fall-off-the bone tender meats.  Every time I am at Las Mercedes Restaurant in Guanajuato, Mexico, I order the Braised Pork Shank.  The wonderful flavors of their pork shank inspired me to create my own recipe.  Needless to say, my pork shanks turned out beautifully and the flavors were sublime, especially the next day.
I ordered three pork shanks from a local deli in downtown Denver.  They came from the Niman Ranch in Colorado noted for their all natural meat products.  Beautiful looking, they weighed about 1 1/2 pounds each.
You must get a good sear on the meat before the braising starts.


4 pork shanks, about 1 1/2 lbs. each
salt and pepper 
olive oil

2 onions, cut to 1/4" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut to 1/4" pieces 
2 carrots, cut to 1/4" pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapenos, cut in half and de-seeded
1 tablespoon, fresh oregano, chopped
Sprigs of cilantro, a good hand full
Sprigs of parsley, a good hand full

6 cups chicken stock
2 cups white wine
3 tablespoon tomato paste

Put some flour in a plastic bag.  Season with salt and pepper.
Place one shank at a time into bag and shake to coat the shank.
Lightly tap the shank to knock any excess flour.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.
Brown all sides of the shank.
Remove from pot.

Whip the pot out if their is burned oil and residue on the bottom.
Add a few more tablespoons of olive oil.
Saute onion, clelry and carrots until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add minced garlic and cook another few minutes.

Add the jalapenos, oregano, cilantro and parsley.
Add the chicken stock, wine and tomato paste.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and add shanks.
Add additional chicken broth if the shanks are not covered by the liquids.

Cook, covered in a 350 oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the pork is about to fall off the bone.

Serving Suggestion:  Serve with some black beans or large white beans.

Buen Provecho!

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