Ramiro's 954 - Slow braised pork shank

September 2, 2011 2:48:00 PM PDT
Chef Ramiro Jimenez and his wife and partners opened Ramiro's 954 in Mahopac.

Ramiro's 954 is located at 954 Route 6.

The community has embraced the restaurant since it opened during a snowstorm in February.

"The food is great, unique cuisine that's really good," said one customer.

Chef Ramiro is originally from Mexico City, but his food is Nuevo Latino.

So you'll see ceviches, beat salad, arepas topped with quail eggs, and his signature dish, pernil.

The pork is seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin.

Then he browns the meat. The pork braises in stock filled with herbs, garlic, onion and oranges for about three hours in the oven.

He then crisps the meat in oil before it's served with a tomatillo-avocado sauce and an onion herb mojo on top.

Upstairs there's an art gallery featuring Latin American artists, perhaps giving customers even more reason to dine here.

SLOW BRAISED PORK SHANK with garlic mojo

Serves 6 to 8

To keep the pork moist, flavorful and tender, soak the shanks in salt-water brine, refrigerated, overnight, before oven-using braising like technique...

2 gallons water or enough to cover the shanks
1 cup white sugar
1 cup coarse kosher salt
1 orange
3 or 4 bay leaf
¼ paprika
¼ cup ground cumin
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 or 4 fresh pork shanks
1 gallon vegetable oil

To make the salt-water brine, combine water, sugar, salt and herbs in a container large enough to hold all the pork shanks. Soak the pork for 24 hours, refrigerated, in the brining liquid. The next day, remove the pork from the brine, paper-towel dry and discard the brining liquid.

Pre-heat an oven to 275°F.

Season all shanks with salt, pepper. Cumin and paprika, seared all sides until golden brown.

Place the pork shanks into a roasting pan large enough to allow the shanks to be submerged in the braising liquid (water, thyme, garlic orange)

Place the roasting pan, along with the pork shanks into the center of the oven and cook slowly, occasionally turning the shanks, being careful of the hot fat, meanwhile trying to keep them as submerged as possible.

Allow the pork to braise for three hours. After cooking, carefully remove the shanks from the oven, exercising caution as the cooking fat will be dangerously hot. Allow the shanks to cool completely. The shanks may be made a day or two ahead of time, and refrigerated until final cooking time. Just store the shanks in a large container, their cooled cooking fat poured over them to act as an air barrier and storage medium.

If you wish to serve the shanks immediately, or within an hour or two, place them in another roasting pan. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F., return them to the oven, cooking an additional 20 minutes or until the outside is crisp and well browned. Or remove the shanks from the refrigerator an hour before serving to return them to room temperature, before proceeding with the final browning and oven roasting.

Serve the pork shanks with rice, beans and mojo.