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Chef Ken DeFazio

Chef Ken DeFazio's love of cooking was initially ignited when he discovered just how much he loved to eat. Hogging his sisters E-Z Bake oven, ...

Braised Pork Shank

by Chef Ken DeFazio

Serves 5


  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cups water
  • 5 1 pound pork shanks, trimmed of all but 1/4 inch of fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground fennel or anise
  • 1 ounce garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


  1. Soak trimmed shanks for 10 minutes in enough salted cold water to cover the shanks. Remove and rinse the shanks.
  2. Caramelize sugar with 1/4 cup of water in 10 quart pot.
  3. Carefully add 2 1/2 quarts of water and all other ingredients to pot.
  4. Arrange shanks with small end in the center of pot and cover with an inverted lid.
  5. Heat slowly to 190 degrees and maintain; do not let boil or pork will turn out dry.
  6. Cook about two hours or until tender. Remove pork shanks from cooking liquid. Strain and reserve half of the cooking liquid and set aside.
  7. Place the shanks in the remaining cooking liquid to prevent them from drying out.
  8. In a separate pot, reduce the removed and strained liquid until thick syrup remains. Add shanks to the glaze and serve over sweet mashed potatoes or boiled rice with your choice of green.
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