Braised pig’s cheeks with caramelised leeks
- March 2010
- Serves 4
- Takes 15 minutes to make, 3¼ hours to cook
Pig’s cheeks are cheap cuts of meat best cooked by braising or slow cooking. This recipe uses them to make a tender, succulent stew – best served with creamy mash or polenta.
- 24.5g (12.6g saturated)
- 11.6g (4.8g sugars)
- 12 pig’s cheeks (cushion part only, not whole cheeks, from Waitrose or good butchers)
- 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and black pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- Knob of unsalted butter
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 200ml white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 100ml double cream
- Dust the pig’s cheeks in the seasoned flour. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the pig’s cheeks and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until browned. Remove and set aside.
- Gently fry the onion and leek in the remaining oil and the butter for 20 minutes until soft. Add the herbs and honey and cook over a medium heat until the veg is sticky and golden brown. Return the meat. Pour in the wine and stock. Season and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid. Simmer over a low heat for 2½ hours until tender.
- Remove the cheeks, set aside and keep warm. Bring the sauce to the boil, add the mustard and cream and bubble for 5-10 minutes until you have a rich, golden sauce. Return the pig’s cheeks to the casserole to warm through, then serve immediately.
To make this recipe in a slow cooker brown the pigs cheeks as in the recipe and place in the slow cooker. Fry the onions and leeks with the honey until golden and sticky and add to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients except for the mustard and cream, cover with the lid and cook on the low setting for 5 hours until tender. Stir in the mustard and cream before serving.
Pair it with a sweetly ripe red such as Chilean Pinot Noir.
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