Shanks & Beans

Serves 6


For Shanks

  • 4 pork shanks (about 1 lb each)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3½ cups dark beer
  • 4 cups pork stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

For Gremolata

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup finely diced fennel
  • 1 cup finely diced apple
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

For Beans

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked white beans
  • 2-2½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of thyme

To Finish

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • sprigs of fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 300º
  2. Combine the flour with the ground spices, black pepper and a few pinches of good kosher salt. Pat pork shanks dry and dredge in flour mixture
  3. In an 8-quart heavy flameproof, flat bottomed pan or casserole dish, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sear pork shanks, turning to brown all sides. If your pan is small enough that the shanks are crowded, sear in batches, transferring to a paper towel-lined plate as browned
  4. To pan or casserole dish add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and sauté until onion is softened. If using a smaller-sized pan, sauté vegetables before returning the shanks to the pan
  5. Add beer and stock. Make sure that the liquid fills ½-way up the shanks. Add fresh thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover, and braise in oven for 1½-2 hours
  6. For gremolata, simply combine ingredients and set aside
  7. For beans, set a saucepan over moderately high heat, add oil and cook onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring, 2 or 3 minutes or until softened. Add beans, 2 cups stock, and fresh bay leaf
  8. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and adding enough remaining broth to keep beans moist and to reach a creamy consistency, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf and add half of gremolata and salt and pepper to taste
  9. Strain braising liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, discarding solids, and stir in butter. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary
  10. Serve shanks over beans. Drizzle with sauce, top with gremolata and garnish with fresh thyme