These braised pork shanks could become an ultimate comfort food for us, with the hybridizing of favorite Asian flavors and techniques. It was hard to fathom how they could have gotten any better than when served, but after a rest overnight in the fridge, just WOW!
Paired with fresh green beans from our garden (that were flash frozen until ready to use), and the decadent Garlic-Miso Butter Mashed Potatoes, we were on Cloud Nine! It is a LOT of ingredients, and will take a large chunk of time, so a slow Sunday afternoon during the chilly months is ideal.
While I tended to spud duty, The Hubs started working his magic on the meat. But first, as he analyzed the recipe, he realized there was WAY too much liquid (mirin, soy, sake, vegetable oil, and chicken stock) and brown sugar for the amount of meat, so all got cut in half. When everything was said and done, we still had a cup of reduced sauce leftover, which we decided would be great for a future stir-fry.
Braised Asian-Style Pork Shanks
- 4 lbs. pork shanks
- 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
- 1 cup Spanish onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 4 oz. ginger root, minced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup mirin
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 cloves star anise
- 1 cup sake
- 2 oz. vegetable oil, for searing shanks
- Dredge shanks in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven and sear pork shanks on all sides, working in batches if necessary.
- Discard oil from pan and add onion, celery, carrots and ginger. Caramelize on medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté briefly, about 2 minutes.
- Deglaze pan with sake, then add soy sauce and mirin. Bring to a simmer, then stir in brown sugar. Add red pepper flakes, star anise and chicken stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Return shanks to the pot. Cover and cook in a 300 degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning once halfway through cooking. When shanks are completely tender, remove to platter and tent with foil. Strain liquid into a saucepan pressing on solids to get all of the juices; discard the solids. Return pot to a burner and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to a simmer and reduce until desired thickness. Can thicken broth with a cornstarch slurry if desired. Serve shanks and pass sauce separately.
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