Stinco di Maiale al Forno
One of our favourite main courses when we eat in a typical restaurant here in Modena is the Stinco di Maiale al Forno or Oven-baked Pork Shank. When I saw them selling fresh pork legs at the Coop the other day I knew that I just had to make this dish myself.
I've given some thought to how I would roast the meat without drying it out and decided to first cook it slowly in my heavy Le Creuset pot before roasting it in a hot oven.
Hub and the Teenager have been invited to stay for dinner at the golf club after today's competition. They came in 1st and 2nd respectively in yesterday's Tortelloni d'Argento competition and were 6th and 3rd (among the non-classifieds) in this morning's Tortelloni d'Oro competition. They were even introduced by the club manager to all present as a father-and-son team from Ferrari...:-)
I had to eat dinner alone with the Babies, so I re-heated some leftover shank and served it on rice vermicelli which was just yummy. My appetite was only slightly affected by the sight of a frog staring at a small snake just outside my door as I went out to collect the children's PE shirts from the laundry line. We really do have everything here in this house. It's disgusting. I can't believe we have snakes here too!
Stinco di Maiale al Forno (serves 4) :
2 whole fresh pork shanks (I had suino leggero)
3 garlic cloves (bashed)
bay leaves, rosemary, sage, thyme
1 celery and carrot (sliced)
1 cup dry white wine
salt and black pepper
Marinate the pork shanks overnight with some pepper, olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs and white wine. But do not salt it or the juices will drain out of the meat.
The next day, heat up a bit of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and brown the marinated meat on all sides. Pour the marinade into the pot together with the herbs, celery and carrots, cover it and lower the heat. Simmer the shanks for an hour. Add more wine during the cooking if necessary. I poured in a bit of dry red wine.
After an hour in the cocotte
In the meantime heat the oven to 200°C and prepare the sides to go with the meat. Some mashed, roast or pan-fried potatoes would go nicely with it.
After 30 minutes in the oven
Transfer the pork shanks to an oven-proof dish, salt and roast them on each side for 30 minutes (1 hour total), pouring the marinade over them from time to time to prevent the meat from drying out. Serve the pork shanks with the potatoes and the roasting juices.