Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Braised pork shanks 'osso buco'

Turning out deeply flavored meals shouldn't keep cooks confined to the kitchen, especially when there's company to enjoy. With the spark of citrus and a sweet hint of vanilla, this hearty recipe is sure to entice guests with its irresistible aroma.

Eric Veldman Miller
V. Miller Meats, Sacramento

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1 (3- to 4-lb.) pork shank, cross-cut into sections
Salt, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp. pork fat or oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup white wine
1 quart beef or chicken stock
1 orange, quartered
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise  


Liberally salt pork shanks 4 to 5 hours ahead and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet, roast shanks until they develop a rich, brown color, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Heat a Dutch oven with pork fat or oil and, over medium heat, sweat onions, celery and garlic until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add shanks and cover with wine. Allow to cook 5 to 10 minutes. Add enough stock to barely cover shanks and bring to a boil. Squeeze orange quarters into liquid and add them to the pot, along with split vanilla bean. Put lid on pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until shanks become tender. Remove lid and cook another 1/2 hour to allow sauce to thicken. Allow shanks to cool slightly and remove from pot. The sauce should now be thick and can either be strained or used as is. Plate shanks over wild rice pilaf or mashed potatoes.

Serves 4

Photo: © 2017 Bryan Patrick

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