This was my first time attempting to cook pork cheeks, and I was pretty chuffed with it. It’s extremely rich so a little goes a long way – I was using rare breed cheeks (from Harris Farm Meats) which seemed pretty large, and after shredding them into the sauce 2 cheeks was plenty for 3 people. Adjust depending on the size of the cheeks and the appetites of whoever you’re feeding.
- 3 tblspoons olive oil
- Pork cheeks, trimmed
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Herbs – I used 2 bay leaves and a few sprigs each of fresh rosemary and thyme
- 1 mini bottle red wine
- 400ml beef stock. I used a stock cube for this and found the sauce saltier than I’d prefer. If I was making again I’d half the stock cube, with the same amount of water.
- 50g unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Heat an oven proof dish on the hob (I like a good cast iron casserole dish for this kind of thing). Add the oil then brown the cheeks on all sides. Set the cheeks aside and add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery to the dish, cooking gently for a few minutes.
Add the herbs and the cheeks, then turn up the heat and add the wine. Reduce by about half, then add the stock and pop into the oven for around 2.5 hours.
When the cheeks are tender, remove from the oven and set aside. Strain the liquid into a separate pan and reduce by about half, then add the butter gradually until you have a thick, glossy sauce.
Shred the cheeks into chunks, add back into the sauce and warm through. I served them with double cream mash, buttered veg, and apple sauce.