Pork Shank OSSO BUCO Recipe

PORK shank OSSO BUCO braised to perfection. A flavourful, melt-in-your-mouth bite every time. I call this dish: putting the Classic Osso Buco on a budget.

Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 4

INGREDIENTS
. 8 Pork shanks * (medium size: 1-1/2 inch/3.5cm thick)
. 1/2 cup (105 gr) A.P. flour (for dredging)
. 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
. 3 tbsp. olive oil
. VEGETABLES:
. 1 large sweet onion (thinly sliced)
. 3 cups (~500 gr) diced, chopped or largely sliced vegetables** (In this recipe: carrots and potatoes were used)
. SEASONINGS:
. 1 tsp. (5ml) each of sea salt and garlic powder
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) each from dried herbs: basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon.
. LIQUID mix:
. 1/4 cup (60ml) Lombardo Marsala Sweet wine
. 1/4 cup (60ml) Cognac
. 3 tbsp. (45ml) frozen orange juice
. 2 cups (500ml) warm meat broth of choice (or 1 stock cube dissolved in hot water)
. 2 cans x [13oz. / (398ml)] San Marzano or Plum tomato (diced)
or other 'high grade' Italian diced tomato
.
. * Other meat shank possibilities: The classic Veal shank of course could be used. Beef and Lamb shanks could also be used, however, keep in mind that it will not result in the incredible "fall off the bone" tenderness you expect from an 'Osso Buco' dish.
.
. ** Vegetable selections could be a combination of either: Carrots, Celery, Celery Rave, Eggplant, Fennel, Mushrooms, Potatoes, red Bell Pepper.

Instructions

. Take each (patted dry) pork shank and dredge both sides into the flour. Shake off excess and set aside on a clean platter.

. In a very large extra deep pan or in a large Dutch oven pot, heat the oil and butter on medium-high heat. Gradually add and distribute the meat evenly by covering the bottom of the pan. Once the red liquid comes gushing out of the meat, it's the go-ahead to turn each piece over for browning the other side. This whole process should not take more than 10 minutes. Take the meat out of the pan and place temporarily on a clean plate and cover with aluminium foil.

. In the same pan, pour a little more oil to receive the accompanying vegetables. Immediately start to sauté the onions. Once the onions have caramelized, add the carrots and the potatoes. When vegetables seem slightly roasted and halfway cooked, sprinkle all the seasonings and toss to combine. Now, return the meat shanks back into the pan by snuggling them at the bottom and in between the vegetables.

. Once the heat has picked back up, pour the first 3 ingredients of the liquid mix. Afterwards, when the alcohol has evaporated (2 minutes), add the crushed tomatoes and finish off by pouring the warm chicken stock over top. Cover cooking container tightly with its lid and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.

. BRAISING PROCESS: You can now continue using one of three methods depending on your capacity to be attentive to this dish: Before either method, take this opportunity to turn the meat shanks over to its other side. Cover again...OR proceed to the oven OR--CROCK POT method. -- STOVETOP method: Keep it on the stovetop on low-medium heat (simmer) without ever lifting the lid another 90 minutes. OR---OVEN method: Pre-heat oven to 325F/160C/Gas3 and position rack on 2nd level from bottom. Transfer the whole preparation in a large enough roasting pan and cook for another 90 minutes more or less. To make sure it’s ready, take a peak to see if meat has been slowly detaching itself from the bone.

. SERVING and Suggestion: Carefully remove the pork shanks as to not break them up. Add the combined vegetables to each dish. Pour a little sauce over top. You may also want to make another dish with this meat and forgo using the carrots and potatoes at this time. Therefore, Osso Buco can be served along side a plate of pasta or on a bed of rice such as the popular ' Risotto alla Milanese '. A creamy, mashed potato or polenta is also a very popular accompaniment.

. Note: For those who insist on serving it with the classic 'GREMOLADA'...here's a very easy recipe for this garnish: A handful of finely chopped flat parsley, a small minced garlic clove, finely grated zest from a medium lemon, a little squeeze of juice. Mix it all and there you have it to sprinkle on the finishes Osso Buco.

. Buon appetito and flavourful wishes.