There has been a lot written about turkey legs and their brand new Fantasyland cousin, the pork shank. While they both appear to be hand-held portable slabs of meat, perfect for eating on the go, the pork shank found at Gaston’s Tavern isn’t as portable as it seems, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a fair shake.
Let’s start with some of the drawbacks of the shank. The pork shank is not as lean as other cuts of pork, such as loin, but it isn’t supposed to be. There is going to fat attached to the shank, and that is as it should be, and that brings us to a second problem. Because of the need to cut through the fat, you are going to have to sit down and use a fork and knife to get to some of the meat, making less than ideal as a portable meal.
All of that said, the meat of the pork shank is delicious. It has a slowed cooked flavor that had been well seasoned with salt and pepper, but no other seasonings, allowing the pork flavor speak for itself. The meat is tender and juicy and will definitely be a hit with anyone who is a fan of all things pork.
A word of caution, while adults may balk at the need to use a fork and knife on the pork shank, they will come around to the idea of it. Between the fat and difficult nature of the dish, children who are picky eaters may completely dismiss the shank. If you have a picky eater, be prepared for them to throw a fit and want only their favorite item after giving the pork shank a single look, even if that is chicken nuggets when you are trying to broaden their palates.
The pork shank of Gaston’s Tavern is not the second coming of the turkey leg, and I suspect it will never compete for the affection of longtime guests as a portable and iconic meal. It may not be ideal for children and it can be a bit demanding to dig into, but that does not mean that the succulent meat of the pork shank should be ignored. If nothing else, I hope you’ll give this latest New Fantasyland meat treat a chance.