Pork wings. They sound a little bizarre – pigs can finally fly! Except, not quite. Once cooked, these porky pieces do look a little like supersized “wings”, but they’re actually part of the pork shank, the lower part of the leg. Since these are part of a working muscle, they don’t have a lot of fat – most shin bones don’t! – and need to be slow cooked before they become tender. These braised pork wing are extremely tasty, especially if you use the juices created while the pork is cooking to make a pan sauce or gravy. That’s what we’re going to do here!
This is an extremely classic pork dish using sage and apples. It’s also cheap as it uses minimal extra ingredients and the pork wings themselves are inexpensive. If you’ve got a dutch oven, this is a one pot deal so although it takes several hours to cook, there’s very little hands-on stuff to do or watch. Yay.
Here are your pork wings. The one in front is lean side up and the others are all fat side up. Even the “fat” side really isn’t very fatty. I used four for this recipe, which was a total of 2.5 lbs, with each wing being about 0.6 lbs. Pop them on a couple of paper towels to absorb some of the extra moisture while you mix your seasonings with some arrowroot powder.
I put mine in a little tupperware container and gave it a good shake.
Sprinkle the mixture over the pork wings, patting it on evenly on both sides. You should have some extra mixture left over at the end: set this aside for later, you may need it.
Put your dutch oven onto the stove and heat up a good couple of tablespoons of oil in the bottom. When hot enough, brown the pork wings on each side and then set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and add a splash of stock to scrape up the fond with. Fond equals flavor! Saute the onions for a few minutes to soften.
Next, add your apple chunks and give the pan a little stir. Again, add some stock and do a fond check if you need to!
Put the pork wings on top of the apple and onion mixture.
Add your stock and put the lid on your oven proof pan / dutch oven. Braise the pork in a 325F oven for about 3 hours, flipping the pork wings over onto their other side about halfway through cooking so that both sides cook evenly. Cook until tender, about three hours. You can cook them longer if you wish, but that will result in more of a pulled pork texture.
Remove the pork wings from the pan and put aside – covered – to rest. Put the dutch oven on the stove and reduce down to about half: look at the line on the side of your dutch oven to guage how much more you need to reduce the broth mixture.
If the gravy still needs thickening (the apples will have broken down to thicken it up a little), then add the leftover herb / arrowroot mixture to the pan a teaspoon or so at a time, making it up in a slurry with a little water first. Once the gravy is thickened to your liking, serve the wings smothered in the onion and apple gravy.
- Pat pork dry and preheat oven to 325F.
- Mix arrowroot starchand herbs together in a small container or bag.
- Dredge each of the pork wings in the mixture on both sides; set aside any leftover arrowroot / herb mixture for later.
- Put a large dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat and add the avocado oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork wings, brown them on each side until golden. Set them aside.
- Add the onions to the pan, adding a splash of stock or water to the pan to scrape up the fond.
- Saute the onions until softened, then add the apples to the pan. Rescrape the fond if needed.
- Place the pork wings on top of the apple and onion mixture, then pour your broth into the pan.
- Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours, until the pork is tender.
- Remove the pork from the pan and set aside, covered, to rest.
- Bring the dutch oven back to the stovetop and simmer the pan juices until reduced to about half the original volume - compare the level of the pan juices to the original browning line on the side of the pan.
- If the gravy is not thick enough, add the leftover arrowroot mixture a teaspoon at a time, made up in a slurry with cold water.
- Simmer for a few minutes to cook out the arrowroot and ensure gravy is thickened to the desired consistency.
- Serve the wings smothered in the gravy.
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