Bacon Braised Pork Shanks

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

Curing, braising, and frying. Okay, I’m not going to lie, this recipe takes time (a good two days) and effort, but the reward is oh, so great! Hind shanks, which come from the back leg of the pig, can be chewy when cooked incorrectly. Is there a simpler way to cook pork shank? Yes. Is it as good as this one? No. I love serving this with Rosemary-Scented Apple Puree in the fall, or with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Caraway Sauerkraut, and White Wine Grainy Mustard Sauce for a showstopping holiday dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (360 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper-corns, plus freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup (20 g) coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 pork shanks, about pounds (680 g) each
  • 4 cups (960 ml) rendered bacon fat, or a combination of bacon fat and canola oil, enough to cover shanks in pot so they are completely submerged
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Method

In a food processor, combine the salt, sugar, peppercorns, coriander, rosemary, and bay leaves and process until coarsely ground.

Put the shanks in a large baking dish and pour the salt mixture over, making sure that each shank is completely coated. Cover and let cure in the refrigerator for at least 2 days, or up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 220°F (105°C). Remove the shanks from the refrigerator, rinse well with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels; season both sides of each with pepper.

In a large Dutch oven or pot large enough to fit the shanks with at least 2 inches (5 cm) more height, cook the bacon fat until it just melts. Add the shanks to the pot, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and the interior registers 195°F (91°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 3 to 4 hours.

Let the shanks cool to room temperature in the fat, then transfer the pot to the refrigerator and let sit, covered, until chilled through, at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Using tongs or a large spoon, carefully remove the shanks from the fat and transfer to a baking sheet. Return the pot to the stovetop and heat the fat until it registers 365°F (185°C) on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry the shanks, in batches, until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain slightly. Serve immediately.