Pork shank is a tasty part that has been overlooked by most people. Just like lamb shank, pork shank is consisted of tough tissues and muscles. It takes a long braising & simmering time to finally break them down.
There is not much meat on pork shank and hock compared to other parts from pigs. But once cooked properly, pork shank become soft and tender with a slight gelatinous texture. I take it further by roasting pork hock after it is done braising in soy sauce for a couple hours.
Roasting under high temperature tightens the pork skin and meat under. Pork shank and hock get more gelatinous and a bit chewy, in a good way of course. That great meaty flavor is intensified. Wow, I just like it so much!
I posted how to braise pork hock before. It is one of the most traditional ways to cook pork hocks in China.
1 small pork shank (weighs about 3 pounds)
1/3 cup of soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoon rock sugar
1/4 cup rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 piece of ginger root, smashed
1 spice & herb bag, recipe followed
water for cooking and simmering
salt to taste
cayenne pepper powder
roasted white sesame seeds
chopped green onion
Ingredients for spice & herb bag：
3 to 4 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
1 black cardamom pod, smashed
4 to 5 cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried ginger
a handful of dried red chili peppers, cut into pieces
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
1 clove of garlic
Add star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, bay leaves, chili peppers to a piece of coffee filter paper. Wrap and tie it up to be a spice bag.
I always buy pork shank/ hock from Asian grocery stores. There is a bigger selection there. And you can even get extra help from meat department to make custom cuts.
Rinse the pork shank under running water. Cook in boiling water for 10 minutes. Discard the water and fill the pot with fresh clean water and add the shank along with spice bag, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, oyster sauce and ginger.
Cook over high heat until water boils.
Cover with lid. Reduce the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. And cooking time may be adjusted according to pork shank’s size and personal preferences.
This Le Creuset 4 3/4 quarts soup pot is perfect for brasing. More importantly it is a beautiful pot too. O(∩_∩)O~
Season with salt and continue to cook over high heat until there is no extra liquid in the pot. Stir with wooden spoon from time to time.
Preheat a toaster oven to 425F/218C. Transfer pork shank to a cast iron pan lined with parchment paper
Roast for about 20 minutes. The golden brown color darkens a bit. The meaty flavor is more intense.
Continue roasting for another 10 to 20 minutes.
Carefully take the whole pan out of oven.
Sprinkle with cayenne powder, ground cumin, roasted sesame seeds and chopped onion.
And now go grab yourself a cold beer and then dig in! O(∩_∩)O~