Garden Tomato Pork Shanks Recipe

"Pork shanks aren't an everyday meal," as recipe developer Kara Barrett says about this celebration-worthy cut of pork. In her garden tomato pork shank recipe, the meat's rich flavor pairs perfectly with vine-ripe tomatoes, and the impressive, filling dish is easy to pull off with minimal prep. "This is a wonderful introduction to braising shanks," Barrett says, as well as a delicious way "to bring a taste of summer to the dinner table."

Barrett says this "celebration of tomatoes" is also the perfect way to use up an excess of peak summer tomatoes that you grew in your garden or bought at the farmers market. "Store tomatoes will do as well," adds Barrett, who likes to use a blend of cherry tomatoes and larger tomatoes on the vine, or even heirloom tomatoes for an extra special touch. Since the tomatoes are broiled before they're added to the dish, their extra concentrated sugars "provide texture, freshness, and sweetness" you'll be dreaming about for meals to come.

Collect the ingredients to make garden tomato pork shanks

This dish is made with a couple of large pork shanks that are cooked in olive oil, wine, crushed tomatoes, beef bouillon, thyme, salt, and pepper. (Wondering what wine to use? Barrett uses Cabernet Sauvignon and says that "the general rule of thumb is to use a wine you would want to drink.")

Once the cooking is done, the broiled fresh tomatoes go into the pot of braised meat, then the whole thing is topped with a sauce made from butter, balsamic vinegar, and chili crisp. Can't find this trendy condiment where you shop? Barrett says you can make do with chili oil or a mixture of oil and crushed red pepper.

Sear and simmer the pork shanks

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then sear the shanks on all sides until golden brown. Remove the shanks, and in the same large pan or a separate large pot, stir together the wine, crushed tomatoes, beef bouillon, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the shanks to this mixture, and bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat.

Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer the shanks for 2 to 2 ½ hours, setting a timer for every 30 minutes to flip the meat over. When the time is up, remove the lid from the pot, but give the meat another 30 minutes of cooking time. This lid-free simmering will allow the sauce to cook down a bit.

Broil the tomatoes

As the shanks cook, you can multitask by roasting the tomatoes. Set the oven to broil, then coat the tomatoes with the remaining oil as well as an extra pinch of salt. When the tomatoes and shanks are both done cooking, toss the broiled, blistery tomatoes into the braising pot and give everything a stir.

Finish things off with a simple sauce

Melt the butter, then mix in the balsamic vinegar and chili crisp. Pour this tangy, spicy sauce over the shanks, and add your leftover thyme sprigs and some flaky sea salt as a garnish. Now, these fall-apart pork shanks with juicy tomatoes are finally ready to eat.

This dish tastes best warm, but there's no need to finish it up in a single sitting. Barrett says the shanks will be fine in the fridge for up to 3 days — not a bad box of leftovers to bring to work.

Garden Tomato Pork Shanks Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
This celebration of summer tomatoes is the perfect way to use up your farmers market haul, master the art of braising pork shanks, and impress dinner guests.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pork shanks in tomato sauce
Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large bone-in pork shanks (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chili crisp
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Sear the shanks on all sides in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat .
  2. In a large pot, combine the wine with the crushed tomatoes, beef bouillon, water, all but 2 sprigs of the thyme, salt, and pepper, then add the shanks and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. ‌Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer the shanks for 2 to 2 ½ hours, turning them over every 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid from the pot, turn the shanks over, and cook them for 30 more minutes until the sauce reduces.
  5. As the shanks cook, broil the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt for approximately 15 minutes, turning them halfway through.
  6. Add the broiled tomatoes to the cooked shanks.
  7. ‌Melt the butter with the chili crisp and balsamic vinegar and pour it over the cooked shanks. Garnish with the reserved thyme and flaky sea salt, if desired.
Calories per Serving 430
Total Fat 27.1 g
Saturated Fat 9.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 59.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.1 g
Total Sugars 12.9 g
Sodium 863.6 mg
Protein 16.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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