Pork cheeks are meaty little portions marbled with fat, which make them melt-in-the-mouth tender once slow cooked. Often overlooked, these are a versatile, flavoursome and economical choice that will make a stew or casserole that little bit more special. 2-3 per person is a good main portion size.
Slow cooking ensures the cheeks aren’t tough and gives the fat time to render out, so they’re meltingly tender. To maximise on flavour, sear your cheeks in a frying pan first until they’re golden all over, and then slow cook them until they’re just on the brink of falling apart.
- 1-2 packs Helen Browning’s Organic Pork Cheeks
- 3 lugs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Carrots, chopped
- 2 Onions, sliced
- 3 Celery stalks, sliced
- Fresh Thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- Dash of Smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 250ml Red wine/beet/cider
- 250ml Beef or Veal stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dust the cheeks with seasoned flour, brown in a large, heavy-based pan with a couple of lugs of EVO. Take the cheeks out of the pan.
- Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme and bay leaf to the pan. Fry that up for 5 minutes and return the cheeks to the pan.
- Add smoked paprika and a couple of spoonfuls of flour to make a roux. Add cider/beer or wine and some beef or veal stock.
- Simmer on the stovetop for about 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, take the cheeks out of the pan, bring the liquid back to a boil to reduce liquid to half the amount. Take out or leave the vegetable in the sauce to serve and add salt and pepper to taste.