4 pork shanks, bone in, raw
mirepoix (a mix of 2 onions, 1 large carrot and two stalks celery)
1 calf’s foot
A bouquet garni with 2 or 3 branches each thyme, bay, parsley, sage, and rosemary
1 quart apple cider
2 quarts chicken stock
1m cup vialone nano
1 onion and 1 leeks diced fine
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup apple cider
1 quart chicken stock, plus extra as needed
4 leaves sage
1/2 pound cheddar cheese (sharp white, if possible)
1 head fennel, bulb and top
1 head frisee
1 red endive
Apple cider vinaigrette made of 1 part apple cider, 1 part apple cider vinegar, and 3 parts canola or walnut oil
For the shanks
1) In a hot pan, sear the shanks in the usual manner, being sure to brown them as deeply and evenly as possible without burning them. Turn the heat to a more moderate flame and remove the shanks from the pan.
2) Sweat the mirepoix in the same pan.
3) Return the shanks to the pan, turn the heat back up, and deglaze with the apple cider, being sure to scrape up all the brown bits (the “fond”) with a spatula or wooden spoon.
4) Add apples and sage to the braise. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer (170 F.). Cook for several hours, skimming as needed to get rid of extra fat or any scum that floats to the surface.
5) When the meat pulls away from the bone, pull it and pick it, keeping large chunks where possible.
6) Meanwhile, strain the braisage, skim, and reserve enough for sauce. For the rest, reduce slowly until it is quite well reduced and just enough to cover the picked meat in a 2-inch pan.
7) Cover the meat and let cool in the liquid.
8) Once set, portion the meat in its own jus and wrap in a double layer of caul fat. (NB – you can omit the caul fat, but letting the meat cool in its own juice and serving it the next day improves the flavor and texture of the dish immensely.)
9) Reduce the remaining liquid with a couple of cinnamon sticks until it coats the back of a spoon.
For the risotto
1) Heat the wine and chicken stock. In equal parts butter and olive oil, sweat the onion and leek until translucent. Manage the heat well so that they don’t color, but that you start to get some foaming, then add the rice and stir well for a few minutes so that every grain is coated with the fat mixture and they begin to look a little translucent (which means the rice is absorbing the fat).
2) Just when the mix begins to dry out and stick, deglaze with the wine all in one go, stirring constantly until it is absorbed. Continue cooking in this manner, adding a ladle or two of hot stock at a time. When still a little too al dente (which means COOKED, but not raw and not overcooked), cool quickly and reserve.
3) Shave some fennel bulbs, pick the fronds, and make a nice red-endive-frisee mix.
4) On the pick up, sear the shank-packet (or two) very gently and heat even more so, or heat the shank meat very gently in its own juices.
5) Saute some apples and then finish the risotto with them, some cider, and some sage in the usual manner with plenty of butter and cheddar cheese.
6) Toss a salad of the fennel, frisee, endive, and apple cider vinaigrette, and plate in a bowl with some cinnamon-infused jus around and garnish with fennel pollen.