This comforting braised pork shanks "country-style recipe" is packed with amazing flavors from the tender meat, veggies, and broth. It's the perfect no-fuss meal and everything is slow-cooked in the same pot!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Pork shanks are one of those cuts of meat that goes under the radar a bit, but it is one of the best budget cuts to buy that is extremely delicious when cooked properly.
Even though the shank is traditionally a tough cut similar to osso bucco, once it's slow-cooked in the braising liquid, it becomes super tender that you can literally tear the meat with a fork.
This fall-off-the-bone country-style pork shank recipe is everything you could want from a one-pot family meal! Tender meat, hearty veggies, outrageously flavorful gravy - and it's super easy to prepare.
Forget spending hours in the kitchen to make a delicious dinner for any occasion - with this recipe, all you need to do is caramelize the shanks and veggies, then slow cook them in the braising liquid for 3 hours.
🍽 Key Ingredients
This easy country-style pork shank recipe calls for fresh ingredients to give the dish the best flavor.
Pork shanks - They're full of flavor and become fork-tender when slowly cooked. You can find them in most butchers and grocery stores and are cheaper than most cuts of pork.
Seasoned flour - You'll need to dredge the pork shanks in flour, salt, and pepper to caramelize them. This gives the broth depth of flavor and the meat a lovely golden color.
Vegetables - Carrot, garlic, red onion, celery, and baby potatoes give the stew extra flavor and texture - and make it a more complete meal.
Tomato paste - One of the tricks to making the gravy extra delicious is mixing in a few spoons of tomato paste with the liquid ingredients. This adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavors and gives it a darker color.
Chicken stock - The chicken stock is the main liquid ingredient that helps to retain moisture in the dish and adds flavor.
Stout or porter beer - Adding a bit of beer to the stew helps to enhance the flavors and give it a unique, bold flavor.
Fresh herbs - Fresh rosemary and thyme are a must-have for making this delicious stew.
Oil - You'll need a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil or olive oil to caramelize the pork shanks and veggies.
If you can't find pork shanks, lamb shanks or veal shanks are great alternatives that will give you a flavorful broth and tender meat.
If you don't want to use beer in this recipe, you can substitute it with a cup of white wine or more chicken stock if you don't want to use alcohol.
If you don't have all the vegetables listed, feel free to substitute them with any other root vegetable, such as parsnips or turnips.
Most fresh herbs are good for slow cooking, like bay leaves, fresh sage, or fresh parsley, so use what you have on hand if you don't have rosemary and thyme.
🔪 How to make
This easy one-pot country-style pork shank recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions. All you have to do is caramelize the pork shanks and veggies, add all the ingredients to the pot, and let it simmer low and slow until the pork is fall-off-the-bone tender. Let's get cooking!
- Chop the onion, carrots, and celery into small cubes.
- Mince the garlic cloves.
- Wash the baby potatoes.
- Combine flour, sea salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl.
- Dredge the pork shanks with the flour mixture.
- Finely chop the fresh herbs.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).
Set a large Dutch oven or oven-proof pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sear the pork shanks for about 2 minutes on each side. Once seared on all sides, remove the pork shanks from the pan and set aside until needed.
Reduce the temperature to medium heat and add the chopped vegetables and baby potatoes to the pot, cooking for several minutes until slightly softened.
Next, add the beer and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan.
Add the stock, freshly chopped herbs, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and cook for 5 minutes.
Spoon half of the vegetables and broth into a bowl, and add the pork shanks back into the pot.
Pour the vegetables and broth over the shanks, making sure not to completely cover them with liquid. The shanks should be covered with ⅔ of the liquid and vegetables.
Tip: Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
Check the braised pork shank to see if it is fork tender, and skim off any fat from the top of the liquid.
Serve the braised pork shanks over mashed potatoes or rice with the gravy and vegetables and garnish with freshly chopped herbs. Enjoy!
💭 Cooking tips
Don't completely cover the pork shanks!
When you slow braise meat, you should only cover it with two-thirds of the liquid so that you have a stronger flavored gravy rather than a weaker one. The meat will also add extra juices to the braising liquid during cooking.
Check the temperature
Always check the internal temperature of your pork shanks with a meat thermometer. The pork should be tender and have an internal temperature of 165°F before serving.
Strain the gravy
If you want a smooth gravy, you can strain the liquid after cooking before serving. This will remove any herbs or vegetables that may have been left behind.
Let the dish sit
After cooking, allow your pork shanks to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This helps reabsorb some of the juices and make them even more tender.
📖 Recipe Variations
You can customize this easy pork shank recipe to your liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Braised pork shanks with pancetta
For an extra depth of flavor, sauté 1 cup of cubed pancetta or bacon with the pork shank. You could also use chorizo for a spicier flavor.
Braised pork shanks in white wine
For a lighter broth, use white wine instead of beer. Just make sure to deglaze the pot with the wine and reduce it by half before adding your stock.
Braised pork shanks in coconut milk
Coconut milk makes for an incredibly rich and flavorful braising liquid. Simply replace the beer with 1 ½ cups of full-fat coconut milk and reduce the stock to 1 cup.
Braised pork shanks with mushrooms
Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms when you add the vegetables for a tasty addition. The earthy flavor of mushrooms pairs perfectly with the succulent pork shanks.
🥗 What to serve with
These slow-cooked country-style pork shanks are so tender and flavorful, they pair perfectly with a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas to help you complete your meal:
Serve your pork shank with a crusty baguette or some homemade Texas Roadhouse rolls to soak up all that delicious gravy. For something with a bit of a kick, try our easy-peasy jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
For a heartier meal, serve your pork shank over some comforting Mediterranean rice. This dish is full of Mediterranean flavors and will pair nicely with the rich gravy from the braised pork shank. You could also make an easy rice salad to go with it. Check out our foolproof guide on how to make perfect jasmine rice.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Is a pork shank the same as a ham hock?
No, a pork shank is a cut of meat from the leg of the pig. A ham hock comes from the lower part of the foreleg and is typically used in soups and stews.
Why are my braised pork shanks tough?
One of the main causes of tough pork meat is cooking at a high temperature or not cooking for long enough. To make sure your pork shanks become fork tender, cook them slowly at a low temperature, ¾ submerged in liquid, and for a minimum of 3 hours.
Is pork shank good for pulled pork recipes?
Yes, pork shank is a great substitute for pulled pork recipes. The slow-cooked meat will shred easily and offer lots of flavors to stack on pulled pork sandwiches or tacos.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Once cooked and cooled, you store the leftover pork shanks for up to 4 months and reheat them whenever you fancy some melt-in-your-mouth pork meat and delicious gravy.
Fridge - Transfer the leftover meat, vegetables, and gravy to an airtight container and store the container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer - Place the container in the freezer for up to 4 months and thaw overnight before reheating.
Reheating - Place the pork shank, vegetables, and gravy in a covered dish and bake in the oven at 350°F for 20-30 minutes until heated through. If you’re short of time, reheat the leftovers in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.
🍳 Related recipes
If you’re looking for other comforting meals to make, why not try one of our 35 crockpot recipes and slow cooker meals or 50 best comforting fall meals. Not only are these dishes easy to prepare but they are also packed with delicious flavors that will keep your family warm and cozy!
And for a taste of delicious comforting dinner I recommend you to try my easy baked pork chops and rice recipe!
👪 Serving size
This country-style pork shank recipe can serve 4 to 5 people. If you have a bigger pot or an 8-quart slow cooker, you could double the recipe to cater to more guests.
A pork shank is an economical and flavorful cut of meat that makes for a hearty meal when cooked properly. Whether you're looking for a comforting dinner to serve your family or recipes ideas to whip up something special, this guide will provide you with the tips and tricks you need to make perfect braised pork shanks every time. Enjoy!
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Braised Pork Shanks "Country Style Recipe"
- 4 Pork shanks - about 5 pounds
- 1 cup All-purpose flour - seasoned with sea salt and black pepper to dredge the pork shanks
- 1 cup Carrot - chopped
- 1 cup Red onion - chopped
- 1 cup Celery - chopped
- 2 cups Baby potatoes
- 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
- 2½ cups Chicken stock
- 12 ounces Stout beer - or porter beer
- 5 cloves Garlic - chopped
- 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary - for garnish
- 2 sprigs Thyme - for garnish
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil