Osso Buco, a very specialty dish from Italy, which normally made with braised veal shanks. I tried the pork shank one time at a restaurant and fell in love with the flavorful and fall-off-the-bone juicy meat. Whenever there is this dish on a restaurant menu, it will be my choice for dinner.
The name Osso Buco came from the Italian language and it translated as “hole bone”. The shank is hollow and is filled with bone marrow, which is quite delicious. In Asia, a similar dish that cooks in Indian flavor is call ‘tulang’. Either the Italian way or Indian way of cooking this shank, you can eat the bone marrow by spooning it with a small spoon. Or do what some people do, tapping the bone on your plate to encourage the marrow to flow to the edge of the hole and suck it out from the opening. Is fun to watch how much effort some would do just to get all the tasty marrow out from the bone.
I always love Osso Buco, the Italian version, but have never tried making this dish. When I saw the fresh pork shank at the local market, I decided to master this dish.
The technique for cooking pork shanks or any shanks is braising. Shank is very tough meat and it needs long and slow moist cooking in a relatively low temperature to slowly break down the tough connective tissues.
The good thing is you don’t have to spend all the hours cooking it personally. The oven or a slow cooker can do the job for you. In the end you will be glad to enjoy a good pot of braised pork Osso Buco.
- 6 pork shanks, about 12 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 3 tablespoon bacon grease (or lard)
- 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup (113g) butter
- ½ cup small-diced carrots
- ½ cup small-diced celery
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 3 large fresh tomato, skin, seeded and puree
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 5 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup cabernet red wine
- 2 cups homemade chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, unsweetened
- 1 bouquet of fresh parsley, tie at the end of the stems
- ¼ cup of chives, chopped, for garnish
- 6 tablespoons cabbage and beets sauerkraut (optional), for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 300F (148C). Rinse shanks and pat dry with paper towel. Place the shank onto a 9.5”x14” baking dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Rub olive oil all over the shanks and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
- Use an ovenproof deep casserole preferably with a lid. Heat bacon grease and 2 tablespoons of butter over the stove. Sear the pork shanks 3 at a time till lightly browned, in batches. Place pork shanks aside.
- With the same pot and remainder grease, sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add tomato puree, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and mix with the vegetable. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Add red wine and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and tomato paste, and mix well.
- Return the browned pork shank into the pot. Place the shanks upright and pack them to fit in the pot with the sauce. Drizzle some sauce over the shank. Place the bouquet of parsley onto of the shanks and bring to simmer.
- Place the ovenproof casserole in the oven covered with a lid and slow braised for about total of 2.5 to 3 hours. After one hour, remove casserole from oven and drizzle the sauce over the shanks. Cover and return to the oven for the next hour.
- After 2.5 hours, check the pork shank by piercing the meat with a fork. If it separates from the bone easily is done. If not, return the casserole back to the oven for another 30 minutes. Check the pork again and keep returning it back to the oven for the additional 15 minutes if needed. Until the pork is tender when pierce with a fork. The total time needed to cook the pork shank to desire tenderness is all depends on the meat and oven type.
- When pork is soft and tender, carefully remove the pork shanks with a ladle on one hand and a tong on the other. Holding the whole piece of shank with both hands to prevent the meat from falling off the bones, leaving the sauce in the pot. Place the shanks on a platter, set aside and keep warm.
- With the sauce in the casserole, bring to boil with medium high heat on the stove to reduce it, about 5-10 minutes. Stirring consistently. When sauce is reduce to a thicker consistency, remove from the heat. Melt cold butter slices into the sauce and stir to mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, place a pork shank onto the center of a dinner plate. Scoop the sauce onto and around the shank, garnish with chopped chives and sauerkraut. Ready to serve.
Each serving contains 10g total carbs, 8 g of net carbs, 70 g of protein and 71 g of fat.
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