Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear pork, half at a time, to golden brown on all sides. Remove shanks from Dutch oven.
Add butter to Dutch oven. Add onion and cut up carrots; cook 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Carefully add white wine and 1 cup of port. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 12 minutes or until liquid is reduced by one-third.
Add pork shanks back to Dutch oven. Add 4 cups water, chicken stock base, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to boil; cover Dutch oven. Place pot in oven in oven; braise 1-1/2 hours. Add baby carrots with tops. Cover; cook 30 minutes more or until carrots and pork are tender. Remove baby carrots, pork, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves from Dutch oven. Keep carrots and pork warm. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
Skim fat from cooking juices. In blender, purée vegetables and juices half at a time. Return mixture to Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 cup port. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened and is reduced by half.
To serve, spoon sauce onto plates. Top with shank and serve with Wilted Spinach and baby carrots. Makes 8 servings.
Wilted Spinach: Add 1/2 cup water to very large skillet. When water is steaming, add 2 (5-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach, half at a time; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until wilted. Drain spinach; toss with 10 drops hot sauce (or to taste) and salt.
Recipe from Chef Mary Payne Moran
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