Slow-braised Pigs’ Cheeks – Serves 4
Winter casseroles don’t come much better than this – don’t be put off by the pigs’ cheeks – they are utterly delicious, economical and easy to cook – a real winner!
Preheat oven to 140 centigrade.
- 4 pigs cheeks (noix de joue de porc)
- flour – for dusting
- olive – for frying
- 2 onions – peeled and cut into chunks
- ½ leek – peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 large carrot – peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 sticks of celery – cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 100g tomato puree
- ½ bottle of dry red wine
- 300ml stock (beef or vegetable)
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf 1.
- Season the meat and dust with a little flour. Heat oil in pan and brown cheeks until golden on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add onions, leek, carrots, celery and garlic and fry gently until lightly browned. Add tomato puree and a little red wine. Reduce until puree starts to caramelise. Carry on adding the wine in stages, reducing between each addition until the sauce is rich and dark.
- Return the meat to the pan and pour over just enough stock to cover. Add peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
- Cover with lid and cook in oven for 4 hours. Careful it doesn’t dry out – add more stock if necessary.
- Remove cheeks and sieve sauce into a clean pan. Bring to boil, reduce and season.
Serve with vegetables of your choice around a roaring fire – bon appetite!