Recipe Friday: The Braised Pork Shank Ragu from MODERN Oysterbar Chophouse

Marilyn HawkesJuly 5, 2019
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Do you sometimes crave a hearty home-cooked dish even when it’s blazing hot outside? If so, MODERN Oysterbar Chophouse’s executive chef Mike Bouwen shares his recipe for braised pork shank ragu with pomme puree. But if the heat is getting you down, you can tuck the recipe away for cooler days this fall. Hot or not, this dish is a winner.

Braised pork shanks are easy enough to prepare, but make sure you don’t undercook them, Bouwen says. “It’s a tougher piece of meat so it requires a longer cooking time, but it’s delicious.”

And if you haven’t made a bouquet garni before (see recipe), all you have to do is pull together the fresh herbs and tie them with butcher’s twine before dropping in the pan. It’s easier to pull out the bundle than trying to retrieve loose herbs, Bouwen says.

You can find Braised Pork Shank Ragu on MODERN’s summer prix fixe menu as well as the regular menu.

Braised Pork Shank Ragu with Pomme Puree


4 each pork shanks
4 oz. celery, one-inch dice
8 oz. yellow onion, ¼ inch dice
4 oz. carrots, ¼ inch dice
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 each bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh parsley
5 cloves garlic, smashed
10 oz. tomato puree
28 oz. San Marzano peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 cups red wine (a good one you would drink)
2 tbsp. freshly cracked pepper
4 tbsp. kosher salt
¼ cup canola oil


  1. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and let them rest for 20 minutes. Heat a heavy-bottomed roasting pan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add the canola oil. Sear the shanks until brown and caramelized on all sides and remove from the pan.
  2. Remove excess oil from the pan and add the onion. Sweat for two minutes making sure that they don’t brown. Then, add the carrot and celery and sweat for another 3-4 minutes making sure the mixture doesn’t brown.
  3. Make a bouquet garni with the fresh herbs and add to the mixture. Add the smashed garlic and tomato puree. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally making sure it does not burn. When the tomato puree begins to darken and smell sweet (about 5 minutes), add the red wine and reduce the mixture until it begins to thicken (about another 5 minutes).
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and add the pork shanks back into the mixture and cover.
  5. In a preheated 250-degree oven, braise the shanks for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender and falls of the bone.

Pomme Puree


2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
¼ lb. unsalted butter
¼ cup sour cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste


  1. In a preheated 350-degree oven, roast the potatoes until they are fork tender. While the potatoes are roasting, add the cream and butter to a pan, bring to a boil and turn off the heat.
  2. Let the potatoes rest for 5 minutes on the counter and then peel the skin off (be careful potatoes will be steaming hot). For extra texture, the skin may be left on.
  3. Using a stand mixer, add the potatoes, kosher salt and white pepper and mix on low speed until smooth. Remember, you can add more salt and pepper at the end to adjust seasoning but you cannot remove it, so I suggest under seasoning.
  4. Slowly add the cream and butter mixture to the potatoes and incorporate. Add the sour cream and check to see if you added enough salt and pepper and adjust seasoning.

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