Friday, March 26, 2010

Braised Fresh Pork Shanks with Egg Noodles

Prepared March 25, 2010. Adapted from an online recipe for veal shanks.
1/2 c all-purpose flour
6 fresh pork shanks (hocks)
salt and pepper to taste
6 T olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 leek, white part, cleaned and sliced across
1 oz fresh dill, chopped
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
about 1-1/2 c chicken stock
1 12 to 16 oz bag egg noodles, boiled 8 minutes in salted water and drained
To skin the hocks, push a sharp narrow knife into the space between the skin and the meat. Always cut away from your hand. Cut all the way around the meat, freeing and discarding the ring of skin and fat. Season well with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Place flour in a 1-gal zipper-lock plastic bag. Heat 2 T of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add hocks to bag, tumble to cover, and shake excess free. Saute three pieces at a time, until thoroughly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes for each batch. Remove to a platter to rest when cooked. Discard the oil and wipe out the pan. Heat 2 T olive oil to pot. Add the vegetables and herbs and saute until vegetables brown, about 12 minutes. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. Place hocks atop cooked vegetables and add enough stock to half cover the meat. Bring to simmer; cover and place in oven. Roast about 90 minutes, turning the meat every 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the roast rest to let juices to settle. Remove the meat carefully from the pot to a bowl. Pour the pan drippings through a strainer into a bowl.  Put the liquid into a fat separator. Discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig from the strainer. Combine the roasted vegetables and the defatted liquid to form a pan gravy. Place cooked noodles in a serving bowl (or the dutch oven), arrange the hocks on top, and cover both with the pan gravy.
Serves 3 to 4. Paired with roast asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms. Original: