Karl Ratzsch's Crackling Pork Shank

Recipe courtesy of former executive chef and co-owner, John Poulos.

1 fresh pork shank (about 2 pounds)
1 gallon cold water
2 teaspoons salt (divided)
1 1/2 gallons vegetable oil (must cover shank)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon rind (left whole or in large pieces)
1/2 orange rind (left whole or in large pieces)
1 tablespoon mixed pickling spice

Soak pork shank in cold water with 1 teaspoon salt over night. The next day, remove pork shank and dry. Discard water.

Pour oil into pot. Add meat then remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper flakes, lemon rind, orange rind, and pickling spice.

Turn heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until oil starts to simmer. Do not let oil boil. Continue to cook at a low simmer until done, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

When done, remove meat from oil and set aside. Cool oil slightly then strain. Return oil to the same pan and heat to 350 degrees. When oil is hot, add shank and fry until crispy outside, about 4 to 6 minutes. Serve with sauerkraut and dumplings.


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