Pigs’ Cheeks

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.]


serves: 4
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.

Posted in Meat, Untested Tagged with:

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