I’ve been a fan of pepper bacon from Newman Farm for sometime, but I moved on to pork shanks this weekend at the urging of Rita Newman. “Make osso buco,” she said, handing me a copy of her simple, one-paragraph recipe. “It’s my favorite.”
Rita and her husband, Mark, raise heritage Berkshire pork at their picturesque farm in Myrtle, Missouri, so they know a thing or two about pork. But since I over-complicate everything, I also consulted The Sopranos Family Cookbook, where I found a more traditional version of osso buco that uses veal.
The approach I settled on combines Rita’s advice (slow cook in the oven at a low temperature) with ingredients from Artie Bucco, Tony Soprano’s favorite chef. The result was an easy and delicious dish that filled my kitchen with an aroma so enticing that my dog didn’t settle down until after dinner, when he disappeared into his kennel with a pork shank bone.
I served the osso buco over mashed potatoes, but Rita says grits, polenta, or risotto work just fine.
Osso Buco with Newman Farm Pork Shanks
Four pork shanks
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
One-half large onion, diced
One-half cup white wine
One cup chicken broth
14-ounce can Hunts diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
Several springs of fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
Half a cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Zest from one lemon
Dredge shanks in flour; season with salt and pepper, and brown in butter and olive oil. Use a Dutch oven.
Push the meat to the side and toss in the onion. Cook until soft.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook down.
Add the tomatoes and broth and simmer until well blended.
Drop in the rosemary, cover, and cook for about two and a half-hours in a 300-degree oven. Baste the meat a few times. The shanks are ready when they start to pull away from the bone.
Combine garlic, lemon zest, and parsley. Add to the pan for the last five minutes of cooking.
Top the mashed potatoes with a shank and some of the sauce. Serve immediately.