In Santiago, Chile, chef Juan Pablo Mellado Arana of Las Cabras serves these pork shanks, burnished red from merkén and piquant red pepper paste, with rice for a substantial lunch. To check the doneness of the pork without opening the packet, simply pierce the packet with a paring knife; it should go in with no restistence.
Featured in: All Eyes on Santiago
- 2 (1 1/2-lb.) pork shanks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. paprika paste
- 1 tbsp. merkén or hot paprika
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Heat the oven to 325°. Layer one 24-inch square sheet of foil with a 24-inch sheet of parchment paper and place the shanks on the paper; season with salt and pepper. On a cutting board, use the side of your knife to mash the garlic with a pinch of salt into a smooth paste. Scrape the garlic into a bowl and stir in the paprika paste, merkén, oregano, and cumin. Rub the spice mix all over the pork shanks.
- Bring the sides of the parchment and foil up over the pork and crimp to form a packet. Transfer the packet to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake until the meat is very tender, about 4 hours. To serve, cut open the packet and serve the pork warm with its pan juices.