A Little About The Recipe: Low Carb Slow-Roasted Pork Shanks
Low Carb Slow-Roasted Pork Shanks are just great. They are filling, they are tasty, and you don’t have to do much. It’s always a good thing to have access to a lot of simple recipes. The more, the better. Fancy stuff is all well and good, now and again, but for most days, it’s too much trouble. Still, it’s nice to have something awesome to eat regardless.
The Fear of the Big Meats
I remember back before I first started cooking. I mean when I really started cooking with ‘from scratch’ ingredients, not unpackaging things and putting them in the oven. For a long time, I was a little intimidated by the big meats. Pork shanks, lamb shanks, French rack of ribs, basically anything which had ‘shape’. If it wasn’t an oval slab of meat, I avoided buying it. Now, if it’s new, if it’s cheap, I buy it and try it.
If this reminds you of you. Let me tell you a secret. Take a big meat, any big meat, and it will be three hours at 150 deg C. Take a small meat, any small meat, and it will be 20 mins at 200 deg C. Omg! Did I just say that? Yes, I did! The secret is out! The magic of cooking has gone – poof!
These two rules are the golden ratios of meat cooking timings. Follow these rules, and you will almost (make a point of the almost, because for every rule there’s an exception) never go wrong.
It’s Pork. Keep It Plain, Keep It Simple!
Pork is one of the meats that shines alone. Often, chicken needs a lot of seasonings; lamb is a bit wishy-washy without garlic. Pork needs very little else to make it tasty. In fact, plain and simple is best.
Pork shanks are the forelimbs of the pig. It’s a part of the pig which carries a lot of weight. Pigs aren’t really known for being slender, delicate animals. There’s a lot of muscle there, and it’s surrounding bone. Slow cooking softens those muscle fibres and leeches the marrow from the bones, where it radiates into the surrounding meat. Slow-Cooked Pork Shanks are that delicious; it seems like sacrilege to actually herb them at all.
Slow-cooked Means Think Ahead!
Pork, in my adopted country of Malta, and a lot of countries, is one of the cheapest meats. Keto, paleo, Atkins’… These are not the most affordable diets to be on. The more we can do with pork, the better for our pockets. There’s also no diet I cover that it won’t fit. The downside to slow-cooked pork shanks? You really have to think ahead. It’s gonna be taking three hours for these big boys to cook. Okay, you don’t have to do anything, but you need the three hours for the oven to do its work.
Just think, though! At the end of it, you will sit down in front of that huge, juicy, tender, fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, warm up your tummy, utterly indescribably delicious pork shank… Hungry yet?
I Recommend This For: Low Carb Slow-Roasted Pork Shanks
For keto, it’s imperative to up the fat content but try to keep the protein content as low as possible. Pork shanks are pretty large and will provide a lot of protein. You could eat half the shank, of course, but the idea of leaving all that delicious meat? Err… no! I would add in Garlic Butter Mushrooms. These have an enormous fat content for very little protein or carbs. As that’s enough for dinner, lunch would be an excellent place to push in a little more fat. I would make the Tangy Mustard Prawn Salad. I also might add a bit of Easy Homemade Mayonnaise to the pork shanks too. It’s almost pure fat and a great ‘get-of-gaol-free-card’ to up the fat content in keto that I use often. This menu for the day will provide 95g protein and 13.1g of net carbs, not counting the mayo.
I find it’s nice to balance out heavy meat mains with lighter, sharper sides. Simple Balsamic Salad is easy to prepare and is excellent with the pork shanks. Alternatively, there’s the Avocado and Red Bell Pepper Salad with Bilberries, an incredibly refreshing salad and one of my favourites. For something heavier, there’s the soft and fluffy Mashed Cauliflower instead. This side dish is done on the hob, so there’s no cooking clash when making the meal. When the pork is ready, use some of the juices to pour over the mash.
Slow-roasted pork shanks are almost perfect for Atkins’ dieters with low carbs and more protein than fat. You’ll likely be using your second cup of salad greens with this meal for those still on the induction phase; why not add some Easy Homemade Mayonnaise as well? I would recommend the same meal for Atkins’ Ongoing or Maintenance. Or, you could use the Mashed Cauliflower for less than 12g of total carbs for dinner.
And Here It Is Low Carb Slow-Roasted Pork Shanks
Low Carb Slow-Roasted Pork Shanks
- 2x 750g pork shanks, bone in (1.5lb each)
- ½ tbsp lard
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ beef stock cube
- ½ cup water
- Preheat a fan-assisted oven to 150°C (or 300°F).
- Dry both pork shanks with kitchen paper.
- Rub all sides of both pork shanks with the salt.
- Melt the lard in a frying pan on the hob on the highest heat.
- When the lard is shimmering add the pork shanks and brown the pork on all sides. You might have to hold it in place with some tongs.
- Place each pork shank into the baking tray.
- Remove the entire frying pan from the hob and let the pan cool a bit.
- Add the water and the beef stock to the frying pan and use them to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, the residual heat should also melt the stock cube.
- Add the stock mix from the frying pan to the baking tray.
- Cover the tray with aluminium foil sealing it tightly on all sides of the tray.
- Cook in the oven for 3 hours without opening.
- Serve with the juices.