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Braised pork cheeks with confit potatoes

  • for 4 people
  • This recipe takes a fair amount of preparation and a long, slow cooking time. But it’s absolutely worth it
A recipe by Omar Allibhoy, Head Chef at El Pirata de Tapas and protégé of El Bulli’s Ferran Adria. This dish takes a fair amount of preparation and a long, slow cooking time. But it’s absolutely worth it for the delicate softness of the cheeks and really brings out the flavours.

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INGREDIENTS

12 pork cheeks (between 600-800g in total)
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 leek
1 tomato
1 clove of garlic
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs tarragon
1 bottle red wine, whatever style you have to hand
2 litres chicken stock
100ml extra virgin olive oil
12 new potatoes
1 tbsp brown sugar

METHOD

1. Marinate the pork cheeks in the red wine for 24 hours. Less is fine, but the longer the better.
2. Drain the pork cheeks and reserve the red wine. Gently sear the cheeks in the olive oil then set aside.
3. Combine the onion, carrot, celery, leek and tomato in a hot pan and caramelise on full heat. When caramelised, add the pork cheeks and red wine. Reduce the volume by about half.
4. Add the chicken stock, herbs and sugar. Slowly braise for three to four hours on a low heat. Once the meat is tender, remove the pork cheeks and set them aside.
5. Further reduce the sauce until it is very thick and with an almost firm texture.
6. Now confit the new potatoes in duck fat with herbs and crushed garlic for one hour over a very low heat. Do not allow it to bubble as this will ruin the texture.
7. To serve, pour the sauce over the cheeks, add the potatoes and enjoy.

From August 2009

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