Pigs’ Cheeks (most seem to write it as Pig’s Cheeks, which seems to imply a single pig) have become very popular in recent years, particularly in Spain, so here’s a recipe to try that uses them. Long, slow cooking is the order of the day.
[Untested as yet.]
|preparation time:||30 mins|
|cooking time:||2½ hrs|
- olive oil
- 1kg pigs’ cheeks
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, in 1cm dice
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- juice of a lemon
- 4 bay leaves
- small bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bottle red wine
- 600ml chicken stock
- 4 bay leaves
- Salt & pepper
Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat in a large casserole or pan until almost smoking. Add the pigs’ cheeks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-7 minutes, then turn the cheeks over, season again, and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the Cheeks and set aside.
Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes, then add 3 more dessertspoons of olive oil. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute, then add the leeks and celery and cook for a further minute. Add the bay leaves and thyme.
Add the wine and simmer over a medium heat until it has almost all disappeared. Add the stock and the pigs’ cheeks and bring back to the boil. Place a cartouche over the pigs’ cheeks and simmer on a low heat for 2 hours.
When the pig’s cheeks are ready. take the casserole off the heat and skim off and discard any fat that has risen to
the surface. The sauce should be thick — if it isn’t, remove the cheeks and keep warm while you simmer the sauce until it is reduced, thick and flavoursome.
Celeriac puree makes a good accompaniment to this.