- 1kg pig cheeks
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 300ml dry red wine
- 400g chopped tinned tomatoes
- 1 tbs fresh thyme
- Rapeseed oil for browning
Try swapping out the wine for some good local ale and the tomatoes for veal or chicken stock.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
A good wine pairing might be a Cabernet Sauvignon with it’s ability to brighten up rich dishes.
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Pig cheeks have spent a lifetime chewing, creating a strong muscle connected by a wealth of tissue and collagen. When cooked slowly for a long time the cheeks break down into small lumps of fall apart tender flesh.
Heat a cast iron frying to smoking hot and your oven to 150°c.
Make sure your pig cheeks are dry, sprinkle with some fine rock salt and then add to the pan and brown them on all sides. Don’t do too much at once as you want to keep the heat in the pan. Remove them from the pan and transfer them to your casserole.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan with some oil and fry gently until softened but not browning. Add the wine and allow to reduce by a third before adding the tomato, rosemary and thyme. Pour over the pig cheeks in the casserole.
Put a tight fitting lid on the casserole and put it into the oven for around 3 hours or until the cheeks are lovely and tender.