I got really mixed reactions when I went back to work with six pork cheeks, some people couldn’t bear to look in the bag for fear of what a pig’s cheek might actually look like, others were excited about the cooking I had ahead of me; my boyfriend on the other hand was thrilled that this purchase gave him the opportunity to call me ‘a cheeky pig’…
I was persuaded into the purchase by the butcher at the amazing Ginger Pig who always tries to push me out of my comfort zone when it comes to my choice of meat. He sold them to me claiming that they were a cheap, versatile cut and absolutely bursting with flavour. He told me that if I slow cooked them, they’d simply fall apart into silky smooth strands, and they sure did. I can’t even describe the sumptuous sweet, meaty smell that came floating out of my kitchen that afternoon, and the best thing was the whole dish was pretty much effortless to achieve. I chose to pair them with simple complimentary flavours (mustard, apples, bay) so that their deep and rich meaty earthiness would be the centrepiece of the dish.
Follow the recipe below, snuggle up on an Autumnal afternoon and let the cheeks do the hard work for you.
Serves two hungry people:
- 6 pork cheeks
- Flour to dust cheeks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cooking apple, peeled and cubed
- Half a white onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 bottle of dry cider
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Parsley and couscous or chunky bread to serve