This is (so far) our favorite recipe using fresh pork shanks. A little late afternoon prep work getting the dish started makes for a house full of great aromas for hours, and a hearty and satisfying meal.
Time: 30-40 minutes prep plus 2-2.5 hours in the oven cooking.
4-5 pounds fresh pork shanks
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
All purpose flour for dusting
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
1-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1-2 carrots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1.5 teaspoons fresh chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, or 3 teaspoons fresh chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest or 2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon
3 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes, with juice
1 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Season shanks with salt and pepper, dust with flour and brown in 2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil in a heavy dutch oven or other oven ready pot over medium heat. Remove the shanks after browning to a dish to hold.
2. Add more oil and butter if needed and cook onions, celery and garlic until onions are beginning to soften. Add herbs and lemon zest and continue to cook another minute or two. At this point, if you like a thicker stew you can add another tablespoon each of olive oil and butter and 1-2 tablespoons of the flour left over from dusting the shanks to the pan and stir often for 2-5 minutes to cook the raw taste out of the flour.
3. Add tomatoes, white wine and stock. Stir and bring to a simmer.
4. Add the shanks and any leftover pan juices to the pot, arranging the shanks in a single layer with as much surface area submerged as possible. Cover and place in oven and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours, until shanks are fall off the bone tender. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.