The Busy Man’s Braise

Mj 618_348_cider glazed braised pork shanks
Plamen Petkov

Rick Widmayer is the chef at Portland’s Screen Door, acclaimed for transplanting rustic, low-country Southern cuisine to the Pacific Northwest. When not serving locals, who voted Screen Door one of Portland’s best restaurants, Widmayer uses a slow cooker at home to make these pork shanks. Cooks who don’t like to spend all day in the kitchen should note the two to four hours of slow-cook time, which is plenty of time to take a nap, hit the gym, or ride a bike.

• 4 pork shanks, seasoned with salt and pepper
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 2 diced yellow onions
• 4 diced celery ribs
• 1 diced carrot
• 3 crushed garlic cloves
• 2 qt chicken stock
• 2 qt apple cider
• 2 tbsp chopped sage
• 1 tbsp thyme leaves
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 clove
• 1 tsp allspice
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar
• 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Step 1
In a skillet, brown seasoned shanks in oil over medium heat. Remove from pan. Add vegetables and garlic; cook until tender. Add stock, cider, herbs, and spices, and transfer to cooker.

Step 2
Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 2 to 4 hours or until meat starts to fall off the bone. Remove shanks and set aside.

Step 3
Strain vegetables and pour liquid into a pan; add sugar and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until mixture is syrupy.

Step 4
Glaze shanks with mixture and serve with roasted potatoes or brussels sprouts.

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