The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Pork Shank

November 2nd, 2014 · 3 Comments · Posted in Recipes


We are coming to the end of the half-pig we bought in the spring from our friend Mike and we’ve saved the best for last. They say the most flavorful cuts are closest to the ground. You can’t get much closer than the shanks–essentially the pig’s lower calves.

You’re probably more familiar with lamb shanks. Pork shanks are that but even more. They’re big, so you need a large, heavy pot to cook them in, and by that I mean braised several hours at low temperature until the meat is fairly falling off the bone.

Dry the shanks well and season aggressively with salt and pepper. Brown the shanks in bacon grease (or lard) over moderately high heat. Remove the meat and set aside. Add to the pot 1 large onion cut into large dice, 2 celery ribs and 2 large carrots, all cut into medium slices. Season with salt and cook over moderate heat, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

When the onion is soft, add 1 sprig rosemary, 6 crushed juniper berries, 3 crushed garlic cloves and 1 whole clove. Return the shanks to pot on top of the vegetables and pour in 2 cups dry white wine and 1 cup light stock (I used last years’s turkey stock from the freezer.) Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and place in a 200 degree oven for a about three hours, or until the shanks are very tender, the meat falling off the bone.

I served the shanks topped with a gremolata of julienned apples from our orchard tossed with lemon zest, horse radish and parsley. On the side is a beet salad with ricotta salata and the kraut from a pork butt we braised a week ago.

The shanks? Well, they were everything we could have hoped for, especially doused with some of that delicious liquor from the braising pot. Even daughter went back for seconds.

Bon appetit!

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  • Nancy Stone

    Such a flavorful meal. I’ve only used smoked shank, now I must see about this fresh cut.

  • Ed Bruske

    Not to be confused with the hock

  • Nancy Stone

    Here in Ohio smoked shanks are better than hocks, more meat. Back a week ago, you spoke of socks. Try Lehman’s Catalonia from Kidron, Ohio. The Rockford red heal socks may be the answer for wear and comfort.